Jaipur: A political controversy has
erupted here over a Rajasthan minister`s reported comments on
President Pratibha Patil being "rewarded" for her loyalty to
Congress` first family, with the opposition BJP terming it as
an "insult" to the nation.
Addressing Congress workers in Pali district
yesterday, Minister of State for Rural Development and
Panchayati Raj Ameen Khan had reportedly said that Patil did
not ask for any position but was made the President due to her
loyalty and cited instances of her association with Indira
Demanding action against Khan, BJP general secretary
Vasundhara Raje said, "This is most unfortunate and shameful
that a state minister has made such remarks against the
President of India.
"This is insult to the entire country as well as women
of India for which the state government of Rajasthan is
responsible," the former chief minister said.
Lashing out at Ashok Gehlot government, she said,
"Using such indecent language has become a habit of state
ministers but it is very sad that the Congress government in
Rajasthan shields such people instead of punishing them."
The comments also drew condemnation from organisations
representing Rajput community. `Shree Rajput Karni Sena`
staged protests demanding sacking of the Minister and burnt an
effigy. It also called for a bandh in Losal town in Sikar
district tomorrow, according to its state coordinator, Shyam
Pratap Singh Itawa.
The Shree Rajput Sabha has demanded that Gehlot take
action against the Minister, its secretary Mangej Singh said.
However, the Minister today clarified: "I just gave an
example of loyalty and did not intend to make any comment on
the President. I said that she was a committed and simple
"After observing resentment among the party workers
over not getting organisational posts, I said that party
workers should be loyal to their leader as well as the party,"
"She (Patil) was loyal to Gandhi-Nehru family and the
Congress party, and served with dedication and commitment even
in the days when Indira Gandhi was not in power," he said.
When contacted, PCC spokesperson Satyendra Singh said
the party "is looking into the matter and we are collecting
information in this regard".