While Ram Katheria tries to dodge the controversy his remarks evoked, BJP MP Babu Lal remains unapologetic
New Delhi: Facing flak over their alleged inflammatory speeches, Union Minister Ram Shankar Katheria yesterday claimed he did not name any community while BJP MP Babu Lal remained unapologetic and asked if Hindus should watch silently when they are being targeted.
Activists display placards during a silent protest against Katheria at Jantar Mantar. Pics/PTI
“Tell me, if we don’t take revenge, should we worship them instead? Is the community only meant to worship others while the other communities come and shoot us down,” BJP MP from Fatehpur Sikri Babu Lal said.
Ram Katheria talks to media at Parliament House
Katheria, who is Minister of State for HRD, and Babu Lal had made the controversial speeches at a condolence meeting held in Agra on Sunday for VHP leader Arun Mahaur, who was allegedly killed by youths from another community last Thursday.
At the meeting, Katheria had said, “This conspiracy is being hatched against the Hindu community, we have to be alert to recognize it and strengthen ourselves. We will have to fight it because if we do not do it now, today we have lost one Arun, tomorrow it could be another Arun... the killers should also go, we have to set such an example.”
Asked about his remarks, he said, “What has been published in one of the newspapers is false. I had not taken the name of any community. I had said that the culprits, who had murdered the VHP leader, should be given death sentence. I had also said that the Hindu community should unite for their safety. I will send a notice to the newspaper.”
Jantar Mantar protest
A group of social activists yesterday held a protest at Jantar Mantar against the alleged hate speech made by Katheria against minority community members. The protestors also appealed to the President to ‘dismiss’ Katheria.
Pawar questions PM
NCP Chief Sharad Pawar yesterday faulted Prime Minister Narendra Modi for remaining silent on issues like the JNU row and demanded immediate sacking of Katheria over his alleged hate speech in Agra. Replying to questions at a press conference, Pawar alleged politics of communal polarisation was being played in the country since the Narendra Modi government assumed office.
Privileged motions: Order of the day
A war of privileged motions has broken out in Parliament. Hitting back at the opposition party for a similar move against HRD Minister Smriti Irani, the BJP yesterday issued notice for similar action against Congress leader Jyotiraditya Scindia. In Lok Sabha, BJP’s chief whip Arjun Ram Meghwal said he and many other members, including Labour Minister Bandaru Dattatreya, had given a notice of breach of privilege against Scindia.