Union Minister for Tribal Affairs Arjun Munda has said that Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury's comment on President Droupadi Murmu establishes that the Congress ideology is anti-tribal and its love and affection for the community is only a drama.
In an interview with IANS, Munda said that Chowdhury's comments show the Congress thinking about the tribals even after 75 years of Independence and they are not ready to accept a tribal in a top position, especially the President.
Munda said that Congress interim president Sonia Gandhi must apologise to President Murmu and the nation for the insulting remark of Chowdhury.
Excerpts from the interview:
Q: What would you say about the Leader of Congress in the Lok Sabha's remark about President Murmu?
A: It is derogatory, insulting and shows the Congress mentality and thinking about the tribal community. Being a senior leader, Chowdhury must not use such insulting words against a person holding the top constitutional post of the country. One should not disrespect the dignity of an office due to personal hatred for a particular community.
When the country is celebrating 'Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav', for the first time a woman from a tribal community got the opportunity to hold the office of President of India. Congress is not able to accept a tribal woman in the office of President.
The Congress party's love for tribal people all these years since independence is a drama, actually Congress ideology is anti-tribal.
Q: Chowdhury said that it was a "slip of tongue".
A: Chowdhury's comment is not a "slip of tongue"... it was a deliberate use of a word to insult a tribal woman. He repeated the word after saying it once and what we saw was not a slip of tongue. He must have thought before speaking and repeating the insulting words.
Q: Why is the BJP opposing Chowdhury's apology to President Murmu instead of public apology?
A: Did he insult the President in private or in a closed room? No, he insulted the President in full public view, therefore he must apologize to the President in front of the nation.
Q: Congress is saying they are not against the tribal community, so there is no question of disrespecting them?
A: If the Congress is claiming love and respect for the tribals then why did they field a candidate against Murmu ji. Why did they campaign against her? The Congress party and its leaders continuously targeted Murmu ji since the day she was announced as the NDA Presidential candidate.
Congress leaders called her a 'puppet', a 'symbol of evil' and many others. Their hatred continued even after she was elected to the office of President. Chowdhury's comment is not only insulting but also demeaning to the rich tribal legacy President Murmu represents and to the poor who rise through hard work.
Q: Why is the BJP pressing for an apology from Congress interim President Sonia Gandhi?
A: She is whole and sole of the Congress party and nothing happens in the party without her approval. If she really disagrees with Chowdhury's comment then she must come forward and apologise to the nation saying the Congress party does not endorse such a comment against the office of President and the tribal community of this country.