New Delhi: The Centre on Tuesday rejected demands by the Opposition for the resignation of Union Minister Sadhvi Niranjan Jyoti for making controversial remarks as it said that the matter was closed after she had offered an apology.
The issue rocked both Houses of Parliament as agitated opposition MPs disrupted proceedings, seeking an explanation from the Prime Minister and demanding an apology from Jyoti, who joined the Union Cabinet last month as the minister of state for food processing industries.
Looking to counter the opposition attack, Parliamentary Affairs Minister M Venkaiah Naidu said that the matter was closed after Jyoti offered had apologised.
"Anybody who has an elementary sense of parliamentary democracy in this country, go by the past precedents and also conventions, the matter is closed... If somebody wants to take up the issue criminally, they are free to do so," Naidu said outside Parliament House here as he also targeted Congress over its attack on the government.
"She (Jyoti) did what was expected of her... The matter is closed. A person realised her mistake, acknowledged it and expressed regret. There the matter ends," Naidu added.
A united opposition created ruckus and forced repeated adjournments even as Jyoti expressed regret over the issue. Rajya Sabha was eventually adjourned for the day due to the repeated uproar over Jyoti's remarks. Saying that Jyoti's remarks were "unconstitutional", the opposition parties demanded her sacking from the Council of Ministers.
At an election rally here, Jyoti allegedly made communal remarks, asking voters to choose between "Ram's sons" and "illegitimate sons".
Naidu, meanwhile, slammed Trinamool Congress for demanding the presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Rajya Sabha.
"Where is the issue of the Prime Minister's absence. Is Mamata Banerjee sitting in the (West Bengal Assembly) from morning till evening?" he wondered.