Giriraj Singh apologises to Sonia and even trends on Twitter, but Cong adjourns session anyway
Union minister Giriraj Singh was forced to apologise in the Lok Sabha today, as protesting Congress MPs refused to allow the house function over a comment he made about Sonia Gandhi.
“I never meant to offend, if my comments hurt anyone’s sentiments, I regret it,” Giriraj Singh said.
The opposition had earlier demanded Prime Minister Narendra Modi apologise for Singh’s comment and had demanded that the minister resign, forcing an adjournment in the Lok Sabha soon after the budget session resumed.The comment in question was, “If Rajiv had married a Nigerian woman, would Congress have accepted her? If Sonia had not been white, would the party have accepted her?” Singh had made the remark in what he had believed to be an off the record interaction with journalists in Patna.
The comment drew immense flak from across the board.
Congress workers staged protests outside his home in Delhi, and across the country party workers burnt effigies of him. Senior Congress leader Raj Babbar went one better, claiming that Giriraj was suffering from “mental illness” and offered to bear expenses of the union minister’s “treatment”.
If the government is not able to get him cured of his illness, I am ready to bear expense for his proper treatment at any mental hospital in Ranchi, Agra or Nagpur,” Babbar had said.
Leaders from other parties also got into the act. Lalu Prasad Yadav said, “He should be made to wear bangles, vermilion, bindi, and his face should be blackened” as he has “crossed borders of indecency”.
The BJP disassociated itself from the remarks and some reports indicated that Amit Shah had personally told off the minister.
According to CNN-IBN sources Shah told Singh, “Let’s not attack any leader personally. This was a mistake made by Congress by attacking Prime Minister Narendra Modi.”
The Nigerian embassy had also taken offence to the comment and had asked for an apology.
Sonia Gandhi who had refused to respond to Singh after the comment was made, was present in Parliament when he made the apology. She looked expressionless as the camera panned to her once Singh started speaking.