New Delhi: Union minister Giriraj Singh on Monday expressed regret over his comment against Sonia Gandhi after the Congress created a ruckus over the matter and forced a brief adjournment of the Lok Sabha.
"I did not intend to insult anybody. If somebody has been hurt by my comments, I express regret," Giriraj Singh said.
He had kicked up a row with his remark asking whether the Congress would have accepted Sonia Gandhi's leadership had she not been white-skinned.
As soon as the house assembled for the second part of the budget session after a month-long break, Congress MP Jyotiraditya Scindia raised the matter.
"People are making statements against women. Central minister Giriraj Singh had made a derogatory comment about Sonia Gandhi. These kind of comments are not only against the women of the country, but the entire country should hang their heads in shame.
"We not only want an apology, but also resignation of the minister. The prime minister should also apologise," he said.
Parliamentary Affairs Minister M. Venkaiah Naidu said the issue should be discussed, but the prime minister should not be dragged into this.
"The issue raised by Scindia has to be responded to...nobody in the government approves of this kind of statement at a personal level," Naidu said.
"The issues can be discussed, but the prime minister is in no way in the picture in this," he added.
Speaker Sumitra Mahajan condemned the comments, but said the issue can be discussed later.
The Congress members, however, started shouting slogans which disrupted the question hour following which the speaker adjourned the house for 20 minutes.