With the Narendra Modi government reaching out to the Opposition to ensure the smooth passage of several crucial bills like GST, the Parliament took up a debate on the “situation arising out of incidents of intolerance” in the country under rule 193 on Monday.
For the first time since the Winter Session began last Thursday, there were repeated adjournments in the Lok Sabha. The debate resumed only after Speaker Sumitra Mahajan said Mr Salim’s remarks would be removed from the proceedings.
Rajnath Singh strongly denied ever saying that India had the “first Hindu ruler after 800 years” after Narendra Modi came to power at the head of a BJP government last year.
Mr. Salim, initiating the debate on “intolerance” in the Lok Sabha, had said: “How did fringe elements get the courage? I want to question the home minister. When Modi came to power, he said “800 saal baad koi hindu phir se is desh ka shaasak bana hai (After 800 years, this country has a Hindu ruler once again.) Is this democracy? Is this secularism? Is it a part of the Constitution?”
CPI-M MP Md Salim refuses to withdraw statement, saying saying it was ‘ridiculous’ on the part of the government to ask him to withdraw his statement. “You are in power, order a probe and investigate. As a reader (of the magazine) I have quoted what I said. I bought the magazine,” Salim said.
“I will not abide by any other ruling except that of the Chair,” he added.
As the House reconvened at 2.05 pm, Union Minister Rajiv Pratap Rudy urged CPI-M MP Salim to withdraw his statement till the quote attributed to Rajnath Singh is proved.