Cong seeks V K Singh’s dismissal for his controversial ‘presstitutes’ remarks

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New Delhi | Updated: April 9, 2015 6:23:34 AM

Congress on Wednesday demanded immediate sacking of Union Minister V K Singh for his controversial 'presstitutes' remarks against newsmen...

Congress on Wednesday demanded immediate sacking of Union Minister V K Singh for his controversial “presstitutes” remarks against newsmen and targeted Prime Minister Narendra Modi for not taking any action against him.

“We are not going to rest till the demand is met. He should be sacked immediately. This is a highly condemnable remark against the media, which is the fourth pillar of democracy,” Congress spokesperson Khushboo told reporters at the AICC briefing.

Asked what the party would do if Singh was not removed, she said, “We will first wait to see what action is being taken.” Khushboo said what is lamentable is that the Modi government and the BJP is full of ministers and leaders and MPs ranging from Sadhvi Niranjan Jyoti to Giriraj Singh and Sakshi Maharaj, known for making controversial remarks.

Singh came under attack from several Congress leaders who slammed the Minister of State for External Affairs over his remarks. Singh’s “statement shows utter intolerance and incapacity to hear any kind of criticism or dissent”, the Indian National Congress said on its Twitter handle, quoting its spokesman Abhishek Singhvi.

Another party spokesman, Sanjay Jha, tweeted, “General VK Singh’s choice of dreadful terms to attack Indian media is not just politically inappropriate but seriously lamentable.”

“Generally speaking, BJP confesses that it is a lousy, bad guardian of Indian democracy. A direct assault on Indian media is no private matter,” Jha said in another tweet.

Singh, who is currently in Djibouti to oversee evacuation of Indians from Yemen, had yesterday compared the rescue operation from the war-torn country with his visit to the Pakistani mission recently, saying the evacuation was “less exciting”. However, he later made snide remarks against a TV channel for playing up his comparison remarks.

“Friends what do you you expect from presstitutes,” he said in a tweet late last night adding that last time the TV anchor thought there was ‘O’ in place of ‘E’.

His remarks elicited sharp reactions from political parties as well as a media body.

Former Union Minister Manish Tewari said that what Singh has said is “completely reprehensible” and needs to be condemned in strongest possible terms. “It’s an assault on the freedom of the Press,” he said.

Targeting Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the issue, he said that had there been a sensitive Prime Minister, he would have “dismissed” the minister by now. “But since the Prime Minister and the Minister seem to share a similar mindset, I have no expectation out of the PM,” he said, alleging this is a “completely fascist” mindset.

Tewari said, “So long as you keep praising them and keep singing their paeans, you are ‘respectitutes’. The moment you start criticising them or take a critical view, you are ‘presstitutes’. This is not confined to this minister alone.

“The other day, the Prime Minister talked about five star activists. Till the time activists keep on supporting them, they are ‘karsevaks’. The moment they oppose them, they are five star activists. This is a mindset, which is intolerant to any kind of criticism,” Tewari said.

Singhvi said this is an “extreme situation” but said he did not expect an apology as it could be followed up with some “hair-splitting” on the part of the minister. “All that it shows is utter intolerance, the incapacity to hear dissent and criticism of oneself,” he said.

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