The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Tuesday (6 February) launched a scathing attack on the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) in the Lok Sabha during question hour, accusing them of disrespecting the Dalit community.
The altercation ensued when DMK MP T R Baalu, while raising concerns regarding central assistance to Tamil Nadu for damages caused by recent cyclones, made derogatory remarks about BJP minister L Murugan, questioning his suitability as an MP and a minister as per a report by The Indian Express.
Baalu attributed the December floods in Tamil Nadu to the alleged failure of the meteorological station's warning system, highlighting outdated equipment and resulting in over 1,000 people being stranded on a train.
However, Minister of State for Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying, and I&B, L Murugan, interrupted Baalu, deeming the question irrelevant.
This led to a heated exchange, with Baalu insisting that Murugan refrain from unnecessary interference.
The situation further escalated when Baalu labelled Murugan as unfit for both parliamentary and ministerial roles.
In response, Treasury benches expressed outrage, condemning Baalu's remarks as disrespectful, particularly towards a Dalit minister.
Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi and Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Arjun Ram Meghwal demanded an apology from Baalu, emphasising the disrespect shown to the Dalit community.
Amidst slogans demanding Baalu's apology, speaker Om Birla announced that the comments would be expunged from records.
Despite the commotion, Baalu proceeded with his question and again reiterated his remarks while adding that Murugan was unfit to be a politician as well.
This prompted Joshi to state, “He is insulting the entire SC community. How can you do it? Check what is the fate of INDI alliance. It is finished and you are still talking like this.”
The verbal duel persisted for several minutes before the DMK eventually walked out of the House.
Bhuvan Krishna is Staff Writer at Swarajya.
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