UPDATE: Sonia Gandhi has finally reacted to Giriraj Singh’s remarks by saying “Difficult for me to react on remarks of people with such a narrow mentality.”
Details will be updated as the story progresses.
Bharatiya Janata Party Minister Giriraj Singh is well acquainted with controversy but for the first time he may truly regret his words.
Congress workers have gathered in front of his house in New Delhi , desiring his removal from the post. The mob denounced Singh, the BJP and Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The police arrived in a short while to see an effigy of Singh torched, after which they rounded up the group in a police vehicle.
“If Rajiv Gandhi had married a Nigerian and if she wasn’t white-skinned, would the Congress accept her as a leader?”
These were the remarks that sparked immediate anger in the nation.
Giriraj Singh tried to dampen the fury by apologising thus: “During off-the-record conversation, there is talk of different kinds. If Sonia ji or Rahul ji have been hurt by my remarks, I express regret.”
The BJP general secretary Ram Madhav said “Giriraj Singh has clarified about his comment, matter ends.”
But it seems like that is far from true as the criticism still rolls in, from all the sides of politics and the public.
Lalu Prasad Yadav was highly critical of Singh, saying that “He should be made to wear bangles, vermilion, bindi, and his face should be blackened” as he has “crossed borders of indecency.”
Sonia Gandhi’s son-in-law, Robert Vadra, himself experienced in controversy, took aim as well: “Appalled to read the comments by a union minister on the Congress president/my mother-in-law. A woman of immense dignity.”
“Is this the way we speak about a lady who has undergone hardships all through her life and has lost her loved ones for the nation. If the government and the ministers cannot respect her, if they make sexist, racist comments about her, what about the other women in our country?”
Earlier, Nigeria’s High Commissioner to India O.B. Okongor said the comments were in “very bad taste,” and that he would notify his government about the incident and file a complaint.
“We expect the minister to withdraw the comments and apologise to the Nigerian people. We will notify our government about the issue,” he said.