Haryana minister Vij unapologetic as tweet on Gurmehar rocks House
Vij’s tweet was raised during the Zero Hour by a member of the Opposition Indian National Lok Dal (INLD), who demanded an apology from the minister in the House for targeting the young girl. However, the minister was unapologetic. He, along with most ministers and MLAs of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), shouted down members of the INLD, raising slogans of ‘Vande Mataram’ and ‘Bharat Mata ki jai’.india Updated: Mar 03, 2017 13:13 IST
Haryana health minister Anil Vij’s controversial tweet, describing those backing Delhi University student Gurmehar Kaur as “pro-Pakistan”, rocked the state assembly on Thursday.
Vij’s tweet was raised during the Zero Hour by a member of the Opposition Indian National Lok Dal (INLD), who demanded an apology from the minister in the House for targeting the young girl. However, the minister was unapologetic. He, along with most ministers and MLAs of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), shouted down members of the INLD, raising slogans of ‘Vande Mataram’ and ‘Bharat Mata ki jai’.
After Gurmehar, daughter of a Kashmir martyr, hit out at Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) and posted a picture on social media in which she was holding a placard that read “Pakistan did not kill my dad, war killed him”, Vij posted a tweet on Wednesday slamming the girl and her supporters.
“People supporting #GurmeharKaur blaming war for her #Kargilmartyr father are Pro #Pakistan should be thrownout of #India (sic),” he tweeted, adding fuel to the fire .
As the Question Hour got over, Jaswinder Singh Sandhu, INLD legislator from Pehowa, raised the issue, condemning the minister for his statement. “CM saab, you should do something to rein in your minister,” he said. Before chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar could respond, the minister, who was not present, showed up. “You should use your brain and understand the issue before speaking on it,” he replied straightaway.
When Sandhu insisted on an apology and got support from some other Opposition members, including a few from the Congress, Vij responded by calling them “anti-national”, leading to uproar in the House.
The opposition MLAs kept protesting, even as many BJP ministers and MLAs sprang up in support of the health minister, shouting slogans. The slogan-shouting carried on for a while. An upset Sandhu later took another dig at Vij, but speaker Kanwar Pal expunged the remark. “The issue does not relate to our state,” he said.
Later, INLD leader Abhay Chautala, accompanied by Sandhu, came to the press lounge of the state assembly and hit out at Vij for insulting the martyr’s family. “Vij needs to be sent to Agra (which has a mental asylum ) immediately. He should go and take rest there for some time,” he said, reiterating his party colleague’s demand for apology . The minister was in a cabin in the press lounge at that time and heard the remark.
Vij, who met Chautala and posed for pictures with him before addressing reporters a few minutes later, gave a riposte: “Yeh jaroori nahin hai jahan yeh ho ke aaye hain wahan sabko jana chahiye (It is necessary that everyone needs to go from where they have returned)”.
On his tweet, the minister said he had not made any personal remark against Gurmehar. “I only said she should not do politics over martyrdom of her father. Pakistan has been fighting direct and proxy war against us and an attempt has been made to give it a clean chit....somewhere she has shown a soft corner towards Pakistan,” he said.
Vij said he was also “against those rats, who jump on to the scene in the name of freedom of speech” whenever any anti-India sentiment was raised. “We cannot afford that in our country every day, be it in the name of JNU or in the name of Gurmehar, such elements come out. Such people should be thrown out of this country,” he said.
When asked if he supported the freedom of speech of an individual, Vij said that it cannot be limitless. “There cannot be any freedom without boundaries. There is freedom of speech, but that does not mean you will raise slogans against India on the roads,” he insisted.
First Published: Mar 03, 2017 13:13 IST