New Delhi: The BJP on Wednesday insisted it would
neither apologise nor withdraw remarks made by Ananth Kumar in
the Lok Sabha and allegedly aimed at RJD Chief Lalu Prasad
during the debate on inclusion of caste in the 2011 Census.
"I will neither apologise nor withdraw my comments,"
Kumar told reporters. He was confident of completing his
presentation, which got disrupted twice, tomorrow.
Leader of Opposition Sushma Swaraj said Kumar has not
denied that he used both "gaddar (traitor)" and
"rashtravirodhi (anti-national)" during his presentation in
Both Swaraj and Kumar maintained that the latter had not
used these two terms against Prasad and there was a
misunderstanding among SP, RJD and other members. BJP accused
these members of getting desperate, thinking Kumar was
digressing from the issue.
"But one should understand the context in which Kumar
mentioned them. Our notice demanding a discussion on Census
was against the column `nationality as declared` in the
National Population Register (NPR) form. Gaddar word per say
is unparliamentary but not in this context," Swaraj said.
The word "gaddar" was declared unparliamentary on June
5, 1998, according to Parliament records.
Kumar maintained that his intention was to first speak on
why `nationality as declared` clause in NPR form of the Census,
which BJP fears can be misused by illegal Bangladeshi migrants
to gain citizenship.
"Our plan was that Ananth Kumar will speak on illegal
migrants getting citizenship and then argue that caste should
also be included in the Census. Our second speaker Gopinath
Munde was to speak only on inclusion of caste," Swaraj said.
The BJP notice to Lok Sabha Speaker requesting a
discussion on Census refers to the absence of any provision to
verify whether the nationality declared by a person is true.
"The basis of Census should be such that lakhs of
Bangladeshi illegal immigrants to India are not counted and
are kept out of it. But what is happening is a complete
opposite of it as those migrants who write that they are
Indian will be accepted as Indian," the BJP notice states.
This point raises a big threat to national security, the
right-wing party maintained.
BJP leaders were adamant that Kumar would not apologise
and whether the House will function tomorrow or not will
depend on those parties objecting to his remarks.
"If we were to demand a discussion on the Madhuri Gupta
spying case would we not use the word gaddar during the
debate?" Swaraj asked, defending the party decision.