Rahul Gandhi early on Monday morning led Congress party’s protest against MoS External Affairs and former army chief VK Singh over the latter’s controversial remarks on the killings of two Dalit toddlers in Haryana. Congress party MPs led by their vice president staged a protest outside Parliament house demanding removal of VK Singh for his “dog” remarks.
Several senior party leaders, including leader of the Opposition in Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad, leader in Lok Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge along with Anand Sharma, Deepender Hooda, Jyotiraditya Scindia and several others protested shortly before the house assembled for the day’s work.
Speaking to the press, Jyotiraditya Scindia said that they were raising the issue as it was about “the behaviour of a central government minister against a particular community, in fact Indians per se”.
The party MP from Madhya Pradesh also sought firm action against VK Singh adding that the Central government needs to “take action and only giving speeches was not enough”.
On the other hand, defending VK Singh, Union Minister Rajiv Pratap Rudy said that Singh is being “traumatised” for a statement that he has not made.
“Rahulji wants to do give this issue a political colour. It is unfortunate that a statement not made by someone is attributed to a minister. He is traumatised for that. This is not correct,” Rudy said.
In a gruesome incident on the night of October 19, a Dalit family house was set on fire in Ballabgarh, Haryana. Two young children were killed while their mother suffered life-threatening burn injuries. Lending his reaction to the press two days after the incident, Gen VK Singh had drawn an analogy of throwing a stone at a dog, while stating that the Central government cannot be blamed for every local incident.
“For everything…like if somebody throws a stone at a dog, then the government is responsible…it is not like that,” Singh had said adding, “Never associate local incidents with the Central government. There is an inquiry going on….”
Ever since then, Singh’s comments had attracted sharp attack from the Opposition, which has even echoed in both the houses of Parliament during an on-going Winter session.
“A General who likened Dalit children to dogs… He has directly challenged the constitution and the fundamental right to equality by equating Dalit children to dogs,” Rahul Gandhi had said training guns at the MoS External Affairs while speaking in the Lowe House last week during a debate on ‘rising intolerance’.
“Our Prime Minister allows this man to continue as minister as if nothing has happened,” Gandhi added in an attempt to gherao the BJP-led NDA government over Singh’s controversial remarks.
On his part, VK Singh did clarify his remarks but could stall the growing outrage against remarks, which has only grown further.
“My statement wasn’t intended to draw an analogy. My men and I put our lives on the line for the nation irrespective of caste, creed and religion,” VK Singh had tweeted soon after his remarks were criticised.
(With inputs from the PTI)