Intolerance debate kicks off in LS on stormy note

The debate on the issue of ‘intolerance’ got off to a stormy start in the Lok Sabha today with the House witnessing uproar after a CPI(M) member attributed certain Hindutva remarks to Home Minister Rajnath Singh who denied them outright and demanded his apology.

Mohammad Salim cited a news magazine which quoted Singh as having made a pro-Hindutva remark after Narendra Modi became Prime Minister.

Singh vehemently denied it and said he was never hurt so much in his Parliamentary career as he was today.

“Mohd Salim levelled a serious allegation against me. He should say when and where I made such a statement or apologise …. A Home Minister who makes such a statement has no moral right to be the Home Minister. I speak after weighing every word… People know Rajnath Singh can never make such a statement,” Singh said.

Quoting the magazine, Salim said Singh had made the remark at an internal meeting of RSS.

When some BJP members questioned whether he was present when such a reported comment was made, the CPI(M) member said, “I don’t have such misfortune to attend RSS meeting.”

Members in the treasury benches, including Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Rajiv Pratap Rudy, demanded that Salim withdraw his remark till the Speaker Sumitra Mahajan takes a view by examining all sides, including authenticity of the report.

With both sides sticking to their guns and uproar prevailing in the House, the Speaker adjourned the Lok Sabha for an hour.

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