The purported racial remarks by BJP leader Tarun Vijay echoed in the Lok Sabha on Monday with a united Opposition seeking stringent action against the former BJP MP.
Congress said the BJP leader was “spelling out his party’s ideology” in his controversial remarks on south Indians and demanded that a case of sedition be registered against him.
Raising the matter during Zero Hour in the Lok Sabha, Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge said that the remarks came from someone who is “not an ordinary person.”
“Are people living in South India part of the country or not? This shows your mentality, do you want to divide India?” asked Kharge.
“We will have to agitate not only inside, but outside too,” said Kharge questioning what action the government was going to take.
This “shows your mentality”, he said as he sought to compare them to the likes of Hitler and condemned the remarks.
“FIR should be lodged against him (Tarun Vijay). He has talked about breaking the nation. It is anti-national,” Kharge said.
Asserting that “Bharat is a secular country,” Singh in response said there would be no discrimination based on caste, creed, colour and religion. “The individual has already said that his remarks are indefensible”, Singh said quoting Vijay.
Since the individual has already apologised, there is no need to raise any more questions about it, the Home Minister said, adding he would not mention the name.
“This is a secular country, but some parties with such ideologies are indulging in these acts. It is dangerous for India’s Integrity,” said Mr. Kharge likening it with Hitler’s ideology.
When BJP members pointed out that Mr. Vijay had apologised for his remarks, Mr. Kharge responded: “They are creating problems for the entire country. Today they seek apology after humiliating, insulting.” He recalled Ambedkar’s words from a 1949 speech warning “we will be slaves again.”
Home Minister Rajnath Singh responded to Mr. Kharge’s comments. Refusing to take Mr. Vijay’s name as he is currently not a member of the House, Mr. Singh said: “Mr. Kharge talked about discrimination, I wish to state that India is a secular country, there can’t be any discrimination on caste, creed, race basis, it shall not be allowed.”
As the protests continued even after Singh’s statement, Speaker Sumitra Mahajan said “this (House) is not a court.”
Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ananth Kumar sought to soothe the agitating members saying, “We are all one. The country is one”.