BJP in a spot over former MP's racist comments

Book Tarun Vijay for treason, demands Cong

BJP in a spot over former MP's racist comments

The BJP virtually disowned former Rajya Sabha member Tarun Vijay on Monday as the Opposition turned up the heat on the government in the Lok Sabha for his racist remarks against South Indians.

The 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,” said Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ananth Kumar, trying to assuage an agitated Opposition.

Raising the issue during the Zero Hour, Congress floor leader Mallikarjun Kharge demanded that an FIR be registered against Vijay 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 are not Indian citizens. He said 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 its independence?” Kharge said.

Kumar, for his part, said, “The government and the BJP are clear... we are all Indians. There is no difference on the basis of caste, colour or creed. Kharge should not create differences.”

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