New Delhi: Union Minister VK Singh has once again triggered a controversy by talking about a 'dog being stoned' while arguing that government must not be blamed for the brining alive of two Dalit children in Haryana.
"See, the thing is, never associate local incidents with the Central government (sarkar). There is an inquiry going on. There was a dispute between families. The dispute...How did it turn out...Where did the administration fail, after these it come to the Centre," he said at Ghaziabad.
And in an afterthought - apparently aimed to stress that Centre must not be blamed for every incident - he added: "For everything...Like if somebody throws a stone at a dog, then the government is responsible...It is not like that."
Later, in a statement, Singh described as "dastardly and cowardly act" the killing of two little children in Faridabad "which is a shocking reflection on the state of our society."
"From all indications, the horrific incident was triggered off by a feud between two families. Our society is made up of many individuals, and the act of every sick mind cannot be put at the door of the government, regardless of which party is in power.
"It does not matter who or what the political affiliations are, the perpetrators have to be dealt with without mercy. I also appeal to the media not to deliberately twist my words out of context.
What I have said and continue to say is very clear, and there is no ambiguity about it," he said.
"I have given an analogy by seeing an animal in front of me out there in that village (where he had gone for an event in Ghaziabad). Which is what happened. I have not said anything about those people (the victims of burning incident).
"All I said was suppose somebody wants to hit a dog and everybody starts saying in the media that this is what the government is doing....Now how it relates to that I cannot understand," he said.
Expectedly, the Opposition latched on to Singh's remarks.
The Congress demanded that he should be removed from the Union Cabinet and Prime Minister Narendra Modi apologise.
Under unrelenting attack from the opposition, he also tweeted: "My statement wasn't intended 2draw an analogy. My men & I put our lives on the line 4the nation irrespective of caste,creed & religion."
"As citizens of this gr8 nation v r sensitive but also responsible.Agenda of India is bigger than any single neighborhood or individual," he said in another tweet.
The Haryana government has recommended a CBI probe into the burning alive of two Dalit children. Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar will also met the bereaved family today.