New Delhi: Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde was on Thursday forced to eat his words and apologise in the Rajya Sabha after he made certain remarks about SP member Jaya Bachchan triggering an uproar.
Shinde was replying to a short duration debate on Assam violence and Bachchan, an actress, expressed unhappiness saying the minister was not responding to specific queries raised by members.
"This is a serious matter. This is not the subject of a film," Shinde said snapping Bachchan for interrupting him.
Bachchan took serious objection to the comment and was joined by other members triggering an uproar in the House.
Leader of Opposition Arun Jaitley said Bachchan is a distinguished celebrity and a member of the House and "as Home Minister of India, you can not make a taunt on her in this House. I will urge the Home Minister to make amends and withdraw comments so that the House can proceed".
Shinde initially persisted saying that Bachchan was not doing the right thing to interrupt when the Home Minister was talking.
At this Jaitley sought the intervention of Tariq Anwar, who was in the Chair asking for deletion of Shinde`s remarks if he was not willing to withdraw.
Shinde, then said, "If she is hurt by my comments, I apologise for that. She is my sister." The Home Minister maintained that he knew the entire Bachchan family for which "I have great respect".
Significantly, the Home Minister concluded his reply abruptly amid protests by Opposition members that he had left questions unanswered.
Taking a dig at Shinde for repeating what he had said on the issue in Lok Sabha yesterday, Balbir Punj (BJP) likened him to a student "who memorises his subject on the previous night and repeats the same regardless of the questions". Some members were heard shouting that Shinde should be sent back to his home state.