BJP ministers have raked up controversies time and again, with Union minister of state VK Singh being the latest to make headlines. The retired general on Thursday compared the killing of two Dalit children in Faridabad district of Haryana to "throwing stones at dogs".
"This incident has nothing to with the Central government. This is the failure of state government. If someone throws stones at a dog, the government is not responsible," he told ANI.
He further asked the media to not connect the Sunpedh incident with the government as it was a feud between two families. "Don't connect the government with it. It was a feud between two families, the matter is under inquiry," NDTV quoted Singh as saying.
But hours after he stirred up the controversy, the Union Minister has apologised and has been forced to issue a clarification in the wake of the entire Opposition demanding with a united voice that he be sacked for his statement that insulted Dalits.
V K Singh claimed that he was misquoted. "If anyone feels I have called Dalits dogs... is out of his mind. I am sorry if I have hurt any sentiments," he said.
Singh was attending an event in Ghaziabad when he commented on the death of the two children in Sunpedh village of Faridabad after a group of upper caste Thakurs allegedly set their house on fire early on Tuesday, when they were sleeping with their parents.
Two-and-a-half-year-old Vaibhav and nine-month-old Divya were burnt to death, while their mother suffered serious burn injuries. While their father Jitender has sustained burn injuries in both his hands, his wife is in a critical condition.
Singh has sparked a controversy by making insensitive comments against the suppressed community of the Indian society. The Congress has demanded his resignation and wants to get a complaint registered under Prevention of Atrocities on Scheduled Caste Act Section 3 and 4.
"Statement passed by VK Singh is demeaning, disparaging, insulting. The inhumane remarks about our Dalit brothers and sisters are derogatory, condemnable and reprehensible. It reflects the anti-Dalit mindset of the Modi Government and his ministers," Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala told ANI.
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal also demanded that a case be registered against Singh. "VK Singh's statement is shameful and prosecutable under SC/ST Act. A case should be registered against him immediately," he tweeted.
Netizens have taken to Twitter to express their anger and slammed both Singh and the BJP government.
Singh has, however, defended himself by saying he did not mean to draw an analogy in his remarks. "My statement wasn't intended 2draw an analogy. My men & I put our lives on the line 4 the nation irrespective of caste, creed & religion," he said in a tweet.
Below are twitter reactions on Singh's statement:
â€” Omar Abdullah (@abdullah_omar) October 22, 2015
"VK Singh" People are getting burnt alive , dragged from there houses and beaten up and this big mouths are talking Shit, Shame on you. â€” Fairoz Gadad (@FairozGadad) October 22, 2015
It seems VK Singh seems to have driven last decisive nail in coffin for BJP Bihar campaign. couldnt have come at worse time for BJP @@@
â€” Subhasis Majumdar (@rainatobaroda) October 22, 2015
VK Singh Minister who unfortunately was chief of army staff compare Dadri murder & dalit killing with some one throwing stone.What culture! â€” Abdul Hameed (@AbdulOHameed) October 22, 2015
- Few years ago Modi compared Muslims to Puppies & now VK Singh comparing Dalits to Dogs. Great analogy !!! â€” Saeed Ahmed
- VK Singh's party only protects cows. Dogs, women and children are not its responsibility, so stop harassing him. â€” lindsay pereira
@GauravPandhi My mom was just saying the same thing. VK Singh's insensitivity today was what Rahul Gandhi was speaking of...he had a point
â€” Suma (@sumatweet) October 22, 2015
Get ready for another 10 days of maun vrat by Modi over VK Singh's comment on Dalits. After that he'd say IGNORE them. â€” Sanjukta Basu (@sanjukta) October 22, 2015