The Congress said on Thursday ministers in the NDA government were following a “one controversy a day policy” as the party demanded the sacking of VK Singh for saying the Centre cannot be held responsible if “someone threw a stone at a dog” as he spoke about the killing of Dalit children in Haryana.
Terming Singh’s remark on Dalit killings in Faridabad as “highly reprehensible and inhumane”, Congress chief spokesman Randeep Surjewala said: “Gen. VK Singh’s statement reflects the all pervading anti-Dalit and anti-poor mindset of Modi government.”
The Congress leader said Prime Minister Narendra Modi must not just remove Singh from the Union Cabinet but also tender an apology to the nation and the Dalit community. “We condemn and reject this ‘one controversy a day policy’ by ministers of Modi government.
“Anti-Dalit mindset of Modi government is not restricted to insulting remarks and review of reservation alone but extends to widespread cuts in welfare schemes for Scheduled Castes,” he said while demanding a comprehensive statement along with an apology on the issue from the Prime Minister.
On Rijiju’s comments that North Indians enjoy breaking rules, Surjewala said: “The statement of Minister of state home, Shri Kiren Rijiju describing all North Indians as criminals as they take pride in violating the law is an insult to the entire nation.”
Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal called for Singh’s sacking and a police case against him. “VK Singh’s statement is shameful and prosecutable,” the Aam Aadmi Party leader tweeted.
Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar also slammed him: “Aghast at the senseless comment made by some BJP leaders including ... on the tragic Dalit killings in Haryana.”
Amid the volley of criticism, the minister clarified that his statement wasn’t intended to draw an analogy. “My men and I put our lives on the line for the nation irrespective of caste, creed and religion.
“I standby to serve India with the same spirit, right now and always. Our nation, its success and its people motivate me daily,” he said in a series of tweets.
That BJP defended the minister after his remarks. BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra said: “The minister has given a clarification (that) he was misquoted.... Let us not blow it out of proportion.
“A trend has started to politicise all issues on caste and communal lines. Let us not make everything a caste and communal issue,” said Patra.
With inputs from IANS