The proceedings of the Lok Sabha were adjourned briefly on Monday over the purported racial remarks of BJP leader Tarun Vijay.
As soon as the House took up Question Hour, Congress members raised the issue and demanded an apology.
As they raised slogans, Speaker Sumitra Mahajan adjourned the proceedings for 10 minutes within ten minutes after the House had assembled for the day.
Vijay had kicked up a racism row after he appeared to suggest that Indians cannot be called racist as people live with those from south India who are “black”.
Vijay’s controversial comments during a panel discussion on an international news channel had sparked an outrage with the Congress saying it was shocking while the DMK said it was funny.
Seeking to defend India against the charge of racism following attacks on African students, he had said, “If we (Indians) were racist, why would we have the entire south? Which is you know… completely Tamil, you know Kerala, you know Karnataka and Andhra. Why do we live with them? We have blacks, black people all around us”.
The BJP leader had later tendered an apology on Twitter.
“Feel bad, really feel sorry, my apologies to those who feel I said different than what I meant….I feel the entire statement was this; we have fought racism and we have people with different colour and culture, and still never had any racism.”
He had later claimed that he never called south India as “black”.
“I never, never, even in a slip, termed south India as black. I can die but how can I ridicule my own culture, my own people and my own nation? Think before you misinterpret my badly framed sentence,” he tweeted in response to accusations of racism.
(With PTI inputs)