In a seemingly stern message to his cabinet colleagues for their controversial statements off late, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh said they can’t “get away” by saying that their remarks were misinterpreted. The Modi government is battling intense criticism over the statements of its two junior ministers — VK Singh and Kiren Rijiju – stirring a major controversy on separate occasions.
“We can’t get away by saying that statements were misinterpreted or twisted. We need to be extra careful while putting forth our views,” the Union Home minister told the press in New Delhi.
On Thursday, former Chief of the Army staff and MoS External Affairs VK Singh attracted storm for the incumbent BJP-led NDA government after he had said that the “Centre cannot be blamed if somebody throws a stone at a dog” when sought his opinion over the brutal killing of two toddlers belonging to the Dalit community in Haryana.
And a day before, Singh’s party colleague and MoS Home Kiren Rijiju drew flak over his remarks that North Indians “take pride in and enjoy” breaking rules. On its part, Mr. Rijiji claimed that he was only seconding the views of former LG of Delhi who had once remarked the same.
“He (Delhi’s ex-LG) had stated that people of north India enjoy breaking the rules and by evening he was forced to apologise. But I believe what he said was right,” Kiren Rijiju had said on the sidelines of an event in national capital.
Though, both the Central ministers clarified their remarks, it had by then caused an embarrassment for the ruling party.
“I feel that as leaders of the ruling party, we must all be extra cautious while making any statement,” Rajnath Singh said adding that the BJP leaders must ensure that their statements were reflected in proper perspective and no wrong message is communicated through them.
“We should also ensure that there is no possibility of our statements to be interpreted in the wrong way or send an incorrect message,” the Union Home minister added.
The government is now facing an aggressive opposition demanding resignation from VK Singh, terming his remarks crude and arrogant. Demanding his immediate sacking, the Congress party has now sought clarification from Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Former Union minister and Congress leader from Haryana Kumari Selja alleged “failure” of the Prime Minister in taking action against such remarks by his ministers, even in the past, which shows that the government is not sensitive towards the oppressed sections.
(With inputs from the PTI)