Racist remark on Sonia: Giriraj Singh denies being pulled up by PM Modi

  • HT Correspondent and Agencies, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Apr 21, 2015 18:35 IST

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has pulled up union minister Giriraj Singh for his racist remarks against Congress president Sonia Gandhi, according to media reports on Tuesday.

Singh broke down during his meeting with the prime minister when he was reprimanded for saying that Gandhi was made the Congress president because of her "white skin", NDTV reported.

But the firebrand BJP MP immediately denied the reports, saying he never had any meeting with Modi over the incident.

"I had no meeting with the Prime Minister. Who said I cried? Who saw that?" Singh said on Times Now after TV channels broke the news.

Home minister Rajnath Singh continued damage control on the issue in Parliament on Tuesday, saying the government would not endorse any discrimination.

"There is no discrimination against anyone on the basis of caste, creed and religion," the home minister said in Lok Sabha.

On Monday, Singh was forced to express regret in the Lok Sabha for his racist remarks after vociferous protests by the Congress.

"I never meant to offend anyone. But if my comments hurt anyone's sentiments, I regret it," Singh said when Speaker Sumitra Mahajan asked him to respond after the House witnessed loud protests by Congress members, who described his remarks as an insult to women.

Mahajan too said she was hurt by the remarks and such statements should not be made. Both Gandhi and Giriraj Singh were present in the House.

The minister of state for micro, small and medium enterprises was under fire for asking whether Congress would have accepted Gandhi’s leadership if she had not been white.

"Had Rajiv Gandhi married a Nigerian woman and if she was not a white-skinned woman, would the Congress have then accepted her (Sonia Gandhi's) leadership," he said recently.

The statement was widely condemned by opposition parties, women's rights activists and even the Nigerian High Commissioner.

( with PTI inputs)

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