Amid controversy that still hogs limelight over Sadhvi Niranjan Jyoti’s hate speech, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday urged parliament to resume the work and forgive the minister for her remarks.
Modi said, “The Minister concerned apologised. She is a first time member and comes from a rural background. When a colleague in Parliament apologises, it is upon our learned colleagues in Lok Sabha to be generous. We should move ahead with our work of taking the Nation ahead.”
There were protests from the opposition over the issue, which led the house to be adjourned for about 20 minutes during the Question hour. Meanwhile, Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi appeared with a black band across his face as a mark of protest.
Modi mentioned that he has noticed the issue and expressed his annoyance before it was raised in Parliament. He said, “I am grateful to leaders in Lok Sabha for allowing House to function amid the controversy. The House should allow the matter to rest now.”
Earlier, opposition parties had criticised the PM’s stand on the issue. Congress party had questioned the “culpable silence” of Prime Minister on Jyoti’s hate speech earlier whereas after, Modi had warned all his ministers and MPs against using derogatory language and said it won’t be tolerated.
The controversy came up ahead of Delhi Assembly polls when Union Minister Jyoti said, “Aapko tay karna hai ki Dilli mein sarkar Ramzadon ki banegi ya haramzadon ki”(You have to decide if you want a government in Delhi to be led by children of Lord Ram or illegitimate children), during a campaign rally in Delhi.
However, the minister had apologised for her remarks, saying, “I take back my words and offer regret. However, if the House feels so, I am also ready to seek an apology.” While there was protest in Lok Sabha, Jyoti had said, “My intention was not to hurt anyone. If my speech has hurt anyone, I express my deep regrets.”
However, the opposition seemed to be not satisfied with her apology as they had sought her resignation saying they won’t allow the Rajya Sabha to function “unless the government files an FIR against Sadhvi Niranjan Jyoti and drops her from the Cabinet.” But the government maintained that the issue is over as the minister apologised and expressed her regret.