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Oppn uproar in RS over Parrikar’s comments

Rajya Sabha on Monday witnessed a brief uproar by opposition members over alleged remarks by Manohar Parrikar against actor Aamir Khan even as the Defence Minister denied having said what was been quoted to him. During the Zero Hour, Derek O’Brien (TMC) raised the issue of “dangerous” rise in religious fundamentalism in the country, saying the government, ministers and people 
associated with the ruling party were “shooting their mouths off every day”.

“The Prime Minister needs to come and say these are in fact mistakes, this is not thinking of the government. Prime Minister come here and assure us that we can live in the India we know -- Unity in Diversity”.

As soon as he finished his Zero Hour mention, Leader of Opposition and senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad quoted a report which said ‘Parrikar takes swipe at actor Aamir; Those who speak like this must be taught a lesson’.

“So may I ask him (Parrikar who was sitting in the House) what lesson he is going to teach us...The entire nation should be told what type of action and lesson he is going to teach the minorities of this conuntry,” Azad said.

To this, Parikar said: “I would only say one thing. Let the members see the video...and make up their mind”.

However, this did not pacify the agitated opposition.

Sitaram Yechury (CPI-M) said what the minister had said was “highly objectionable”.

“It is a matter that borders on the question of privilege. Tomorrow you are going to threaten me ... you will say there will be a social boycott, we will make them withdraw what they have said,” he said.
Deputy Chairman P J Kurien tried to pacify the members.

“Minister says please see the video. It means he has not said (as quoted in media)”.

Parrikar said he did not take anyone’s name. “What is quoted is not what I have said. I never took the name of anyone, nor threatened anyone,” the Defence Minister said.

Recent reports had quoted Parrikar as saying that anyone speaking against the country must be “taught a lesson” while referring to alleged anti-national sloganeering at JNU earlier this year as well as remarks by an “actor” who “had said that his wife wants to live out of India”. 

Ram Gopal Yadav (SP) said he has seen the video in question and whatever the minister has said is a “direct threat” to the minorities of the country. Azad again said if Parrikar had threatened Pakistan, everybody would have been with him.
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