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Opposition demands sacking of minister Sadhvi Niranjan

Opposition demands sacking of minister Sadhvi Niranjan

New Delhi: Noisy protests enveloped the Rajya Sabha Tuesday as the opposition sought the sacking of minister Sadhvi Niranjan Jyoti for using abusive language at a rally here, forcing her to express regret.

As soon as the house met, opposition members were on their feet against Minister of State for Food Processing Industries Sadhvi Jyoti.

Both the zero hour and question hour were lost to the protests. The house finally adjourned till 2 p.m.

Some members slammed Prime Minister Narendra Modi for not coming to parliament.

"The minister has abused the people of India," thundered Congress leader Ashwani Kumar.

At a rally here Sunday, the minister reportedly said: "Aapko tay karna hai ki Dilli mein sarkar Ramzadon ki banegi ya haramzadon ki." (You have to decide if you want a government in Delhi to be led by the children of Lord Ram or illegitimate children.)

BSP chief Mayawati said what the minister had stated was against the spirit of the constitution.

"The minister called the people of India children of Lord Ram. This is against the secular spirit of our constitution. The minister must resign," Mayawati said.

Government members defended the beleaguered minister. Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said Congress ministers too had used foul language in the past.

"We do not justify the use of such language but Congress ministers have also done this many times," Naqvi said.

The house was adjourned for 10 minutes by Deputy Chairman P.J. Kurien, before Sadhvi Jyoti expressed regret for her comments.

Under all round attack, she said: "I regret if my words hurt anyone's feelings... I am ready to apologize if the members want."

But the opposition was not satisfied.

"This has become a regular feature. Every day someone speaks against the constitution. The minister has admitted her crime in the house," Janata Dal-United leader Sharad Yadav said.

Members from the Congress, Samajwadi Party, Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) and the Left united against the minister, forcing another adjournment for 10 minutes.

Finance Minister and house leader Arun Jaitley appealed for calm.

"The minister made a statement yesterday (Monday) which is not acceptable," he said, distancing the government from the minister's comments.

"She has expressed regret and even apologized. As far as the proceedings are concerned, when the offence is made outside the house, law will take its course.

"Anything happening outside is not the business of this house," Jaitley said.

But the opposition insisted that minister Sadhvi Jyoti be sacked.

As the protests continued, Chairman M. Hamid Ansari adjourned the house for a further 10 minutes and then till 2 p.m.

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