Home minister Rajnath Singh said in the Lok Sabha on Tuesday that the NDA government did not endorse comments that encourage discrimination on religious lines after Opposition members flagged serious concerns over a Shiv Sena MP’s recent statement seeking disenfranchisement of Muslims.
Responding to an issue raised by MI Shanavas of the Congress during the zero hour, Singh said the government could in no way endorse “talk about discriminating against people on lines of caste, creed, religion or race”. “The Constitution makes it clear that none can be discriminated on such grounds”, he said.
Referring to an article published in Shiv Sena mouthpiece Saamana, Shanavas had raised concerns over “divisive statements” regularly being made after the assumption of office by the NDA government. “One member of the ruling alliance has even recommended forced sterilisation of the Muslims”, he pointed out.
Shanavas’s concerns found support from Leader of the Congress in the Lok Sabha M Mallikarjuna Kharge and others including independent member Advocate Joice George and CPI(M)’s PK Biju and MB Rajesh. Kharge said “such members were spreading poison in society to divide it” and demanded that Saamana be closed down.
Singh also assured E Ahmed of the IUML that he would revert to him about the two recent encounters in Andhra Pradesh and Telengana after receiving a report from the state governments.
Seizing the opportunity, M Thambidurai put up a demand for a CBI inquiry into the killings of 20 tribals near Tirupati in Andhra Pradesh.