Udaipur: In controversial remarks, Law Minister DV Sadananda Gowda on Tuesday termed the Vyapam scam as a "silly issue" on which Prime Minister Narendra Modi need not comment but shortly later retracted saying he was referring to the Lalit Modi row.
"See, certain issues which are so simple issues, so silly issues that need not be answered by the Prime Minister. Our Home Minister (Rajnath Singh), ministers of concerned departments and even my party (BJP) president Amit Shah have answered everything. For each and every silly issue Prime Minister has to answer, it is not fair," he said.
Gowda said if there is a serious issue which is in the larger interest of the country, then the Prime Minister should be "requested" to give an answer. "This is a very simple issue," he said.
He was responding to a question on the demand of the opposition that Prime Minister Modi should speak out on the matter.
To a query on a CBI probe into the scam, the Law Minister said law and order is a state subject.
"The state has already initiated a SIT and they are going ahead with investigation...Of course a series of deaths have occurred in the last few months. It is a matter of concern. I do concede, I don't dispute that. But still it is a state subject...A suo motu CBI investigation cannot be conducted unless state government requests for CBI investigation," he said.
But shortly later, as his remarks drew derisive comments, his office issued a statement saying he did not refer to Vyapam case as simple and silly.
"He (Gowda) used the words simple and silly with reference to Lalit Modi issue. He said honourable Prime Minister need not answer queries related to linking Lalit Modi issue with Vyapam case. He, in fact, stated that Vyapam case is a matter of serious concern, which was not shown on TV channels. He once again reiterates he did not refer to Vyapam case a simple issue," the statement said.