New Delhi: BJP MP and Union Minister Sadhvi Niranjan Jyoti was on Wednesday booked for her alleged hate speech during a recent rally here even as the Opposition continued to demand her resignation and the government categorically saying no.
According to reports, the case against the BJP MP was registered at Delhi's Tilak Nagar police station.
Sadhvi Niranjan Jyoti triggered a row while addressing a rally in the national capital on Monday when she said, "The people of Delhi have to decide if they want a government of Ramzaadon (descendants of Ram) or haramzaadon (those who are illegitimately born)."
Jyoti, 47, apologised in Parliament yesterday, reportedly on the orders of the Prime Minister, but opposition parties like the Left want her sacked and say she must face criminal charges for trying to incite communal hatred. "I have apologized. What else can I do?" she said later.
"This is a non-issue. No further action will be taken against her... The minister has apologised on the floor of the House. That is good enough and speaks for itself," said BJP minister Prakash Javadekar this morning before Parliament proceedings began.
The issue rocked the Parliament for the second day today as Opposition disrupted proceedings in both Houses and continued to press for sacking of the minister for her controversial remarks but the government rejected the demand.
In both the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha, trouble started as soon as the Houses met for the day at 11 am with members of opposition parties like Trinamool Congress, Congress and RSP shouting slogans.
With Prime Minister Narendra Modi present in the Lok Sabha after his week-long tours, Opposition members vociferously pressed for a statement from him. They questioned as to how he was allowing a minister, who uses such "abusive" language, to remain in his ministry.
BJP members countered strongly the opposition attack on Jyoti, who was present in the House.
Refusing to accept the opposition demand, Parliamentary Affairs Minister M Venkaiah Naidu said the matter has ended as she has already apologised and the Prime Minister has disapproved of her comments.
Upset over the government response, opposition members including those from Congress, TMC and Left staged a walkout. Normalcy restored in the House Zero Hour onwards.
Proceedings of the Rajya Sabha, however, were washed out for the second day as opposition created pandemonium demanding Jyoti's resignation.
Opposition attacked the Prime Minister, saying he was not coming to the House to speak on the issue. They wanted him to announce the "sacking" of the minister. Ashwani Kumar (Cong), who has given notice for a discussion, said the issue concerns the entire nation and accused the Minister of "abusing" everyone.
"Such comments can divide the nation," he said, demanding Modi's presence in the House and announcement about the minister's sacking. The House was adjourned four times in the pre-lunch sitting and twice again in the post-lunch period due to the opposition uproar, before it was adjourned for the day a little before 3 PM.
Deputy Leader of Congress in Rajya Sabha Anand Sharma said the remarks made by the minister is "not only a cognisable but also compoundable offence" under section 153(A) of the IPC and demanded that the Prime Minister should come to the House and inform it that the minister has been sacked.
Section 153(A) of the IPC deals with the offence of promoting enmity between different groups on ground of religion, race, place of birth, residence and language and doing acts prejudicial to maintenance of harmony.
"We are not seeking any apology. The minister should be sacked. This is an insult to the Constitution. The Prime Minister should inform the House that the minister has been sacked," Sharma said.
Opposition members alleged the minister had "violated" the Constitution as her controversial utterances were against the word "secular" and its spirit as enshrined in the Constitution.
The entire Opposition was up on its feet from the word go and its members stormed into the Well while raising slogans demanding the minister's dismissal. Naidu rejected the demand citing controversial remarks made in the past by leaders from other parties as well.
Countering the opposition, he referred to an incident during UPA rule when a central minister had allegedly made derogatory comments against Atal Bihari Vajpayee which led the then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to apologise in the House as the minister had refused to do so.
Naidu also reminded the protesting Trinamool Congress MPs about the reported remarks of party MP Tapas Pal at a public meeting where he had allegedly threatened CPI-M cadres and their family members with rape and violence.
Members from Congress, SP and JD (U) trooped into the Well while those from CPI-M, CPI and Trinamool Congress were on their feet rejecting the government's argument that the matter should be treated as closed since the minister has already expressed regret.
With PTI inputs