Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi led a party demonstration on Monday in the Parliament complex, demanding the removal of Union minister VK Singh for purportedly using a “dog” analogy while commenting on the alleged killing of two Dalit children.
Speaking to reporters, Congress MP Jyotiraditya Scindia said the party had raised the issue as it was about “the behaviour of a central government minister against a particular community…in fact Indians per se”.
The government needs to take action and giving speeches is not enough, he said.
Ghulam Nabi Azad and Mallikarjun Kharge who lead the party in the Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha respectively were among those who participated in the protest.
Singh, who is minister of state for external affairs, kicked up a storm with his reported remark in October that the Centre cannot be blamed if somebody throws a stone at a dog.
The comment was purportedly meant to reject allegations of inaction by the government in the aftermath of two Dalit children being burned alive in Haryana.
Kharge tried to raise the issue in the Lok Sabha in a different way by protesting against the deletion of certain comments made by him last week.
He complained to Speaker Sumitra Mahajan that a part of what he had said in the House on December 2 on the issue could not be found in the records despite the fact that she had not expunged any of his remarks that day.
The Speaker told him that he could not raise an issue without giving any prior notice as she was herself unaware of the matter but promised to look into the matter.
Minister of state for parliamentary affairs Rajiv Pratap Rudy objected to Kharge raising the matter in such a manner, saying it was like a “free for all” which cannot be permitted.
The ruling side maintains that Singh did not make any such comments.
The Congress’s demand for Singh’s ouster also found support from BSP chief Mayawati.
“We have already demanded Singh’s resignation before the commencement of the session,” she told reporters. “But government is not going to take any action and it shows their anti-Dalit attitude.”