Home Minister Rajnath Singh cautioned Union Minister V K Singh for his ‘dog’ remark on Dalit killing in Faridabad while Delhi’s ruling AAP filed a police complaint against the former Army Chief, as the chorus of condemnation of the controversial comment grew louder.
BJP ally Jitan Ram Manjhi, a former Bihar Chief Minister and Mahadalit leader, was also unsparing in his criticism of Singh’s remark, saying it showed his “feudal” mindset.
Singh’s remark was used by Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar to fire a fresh salvo at Prime Minister Narendra Modi, saying some call Bihar the ‘jungle raj’ but the incident in Haryana’s Faridabad in which two children were burnt alive reflected the ‘mangal raj’ in the BJP-ruled state.
During poll rallies in Bihar, Modi tore into Grand Alliance leaders Nitish Kumar and Lalu Prasad, referring to them multiple times as the creators of ‘jungle raj’ in the state.
“We can’t get away by saying that statements were misinterpreted or twisted. We need to be extra careful while putting forth our views,” Rajnath told reporters.
“I feel that as leaders of the ruling party, we must all be extra cautious while making any statement,” he said.
Rajnath said Ministers and 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,” he said.
Singh said his Ministerial colleagues — V K Singh and Kiren Rijiju — had already given clarification on their statements and matters should come to end. V K Singh had made a qualified apology for his remarks.
The Home Minister’s snub came a day after V K Singh, Minister of State for External Affairs, said that the Centre cannot be blamed if somebody throws a stone at a dog in connection with the killing of the Faridabad incident.
Rijiju had courted controversy when he said he agreed with the statement of a former Lt Governor of Delhi who had once remarked that north Indians “take pride in and enjoy” breaking rules.
The Aam Aadmi Party(AAP) while filing a police complaint against V K Singh demanded that an FIR be registered against him under the SC/ST Act.
AAP legislators Saurabh Bhardwaj, Vishesh Ravi, Rakhi Birla, Hajarilal Chauhan and spokesperson Ashutosh met police officials at Central Delhi’s Prasad Nagar police station.
“The police told us that they will first inquire into the complaint,” Bhardwaj said.
Ashutosh also rubbished the minister’s clarification as an after-thought in view of the Bihar polls. Singh had insisted a controversy has been created out of “unconnected sentences”.
“The people voted for them in Haryana and helped them form the government. What happened there? Dalit kids were burnt in Haryana. If there is ‘jungle raj’ in Bihar then isn’t Haryana witnessing mangal raj,” Nitish said while addressing a poll rally in Bihar.
Congress reiterated its demand for immediate sacking of V K Singh, and said the Prime Minister should apologise.