HRD minister Smriti Irani’s spirited attack has thrown opposition Congress into disarray and they have been searching for one reason or the other to corner her. They chose the content of pamphlet she read out the previous day in support of her charges.
The congress today demanded Smriti’s apology for reading out “objectionable” comments against Goddess Durga but she defended her action saying she did it because she was asked for proof to back her statements on JNU students.
She also made it clear that she “is a practising Hindu and a worshipper of Durga” while the chair ruled that nothing blasphemous would be allowed to remain in the records.
Soon after Rajya Sabha assembled, Deputy Leader of Congress in Rajya Sabha, Anand Sharma, raised a point of order saying the Constitution and rules do not permit anything to be spoken in the House which is blasphemous and can hurt religious sentiments.
Irani, he said, had yesterday read out “insulting” comments made against Goddess Durga “verbatim” in the House hurting sentiments and sought a ruling from the Chair whether such comments made outside Parliament against any religious figure prophet or a deity can be read in the House.
Members of other opposition parties also agreed with K C Tyagi of JD(U) demanding that Irani should unconditionally apologise for the comments read out by her.
The minister, however, was unfazed and asserted that she herself was a “practising hindu and a Durga worshipper” and had only read authenticated documents of the University.
Sitaram yechury asked who authenticated documents for which the minister had no answer.