Congress leader Kumari Selja’s remarks over the alleged discrimination faced by her at a Gujarat temple led to an uproar in the Rajya Sabha on Wednesday, with the government disputing the former minister’s account and the opposition disrupting proceedings.
Selja on Monday had claimed that she had faced discrimination because of her caste at the Dwarkadheesh temple in Gujarat. To counter the accusation, finance minister Arun Jaitley produced a page of the visitors’ book of the temple, in which she had lauded the “excellent” arrangements.
He pointed out that Selja had also written positive things about her experience at the temple and had registered no complaint.
However, Selja said that in her remarks, she was not referring to the main Dwarka temple, but ‘Bet Dwarka’. “Please don’t try to mislead the House. That day, I had made it very clear that it was ‘Bet Dwarka’ and not the main Dwarka (temple). Please don’t do this, Leader of the House. It doesn’t behove.”
The House remained deadlocked over the issue for most part of the day with the Congress, supported by some other opposition parties, insisting that the ruling side should withdraw the comments made against Selja and apologise. Deputy Chairman PJ Kurien called leaders of various parties to his chamber, including Jaitley and Leader of Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad, to find a solution after adjourning the House for some time.
However, no solution emerged and the matter was put off till Thursday as the House wanted to take up the issue of Tamil Nadu floods.