BJP virtually disowns Tarun Vijay for 'racist' remarks

BJP virtually disowns Tarun Vijay for 'racist' remarks

BJP virtually disowned its former Rajya Sabha member Tarun Vijay on Monday as Opposition turned up the heat on the Modi government in the Lok Sabha for his allegedly racist remarks against south Indians.
 
Congress, the Left parties and Trinamool members forced two brief adjournments in the Lok Sabha on the issue clearly putting the Modi government on the backfoot.
 
“He (Tarun Vijay) is neither the general secretary of the party nor the spokesperson. He is just a former-MP,” Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ananth Kumar said trying to assuage an agitated opposition that was not satisfied with the response of Home Minister Rajnath Singh.
 
Raising the issue during Zero Hour, Congress floor leader Mallikarjun Kharge demanded that an FIR be registered against Vijay, a former Rajya Sabha member, for treason.
 
In an interview to a foreign news channel, Vijay had described south Indians as “blacks”. “If we were racist, why would the entire South – you know the Tamils, you know Kerala, Karnataka and Andhra – why do we live with them? We have blacks, black people around us,” he had said.
 
Recalling the interview, Kharge wondered whether people from southern India were not Indian citizens. He alleged that Vijay being an ideologue of the ruling BJP had given expression to the mindset of the party.
 
“This shows how your ideology is working. Do you want to divide India? Do you want to separate us? Do you want that each State should assert for its independence,” Kharge asked.
 
The Home Minister response that there was no justification for raising the former Rajya Sabha member's remarks in the House after his apology found few takers in the opposition benches.
 
Ananth Kumar, the Parliamentary Affairs Minister, said “the Government and the BJP is clear … we all are Indians. There is no difference on the basis of caste, colour or creed. Kharge should not create differences.”

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