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Apologise first: Piyush Goyal's to TR Baalu over Senthil Kumar's controversial remark

NEW DELHI: The North versus South debate attained centre stage in the Lok Sabha on Wednesday as Union Minister Piyush Goyal sought an apology from Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) MP TR Baalu for the controversial remarks made by his party colleague Senthil Kumar in the House.

The incident unfolded when Baalu sought to raise a question during the Question Hour on the third day of the Monsoon Session.

"He (Baalu) should first apologise. He is their leader. The kind of remarks he made in this House! Balu should apologise first. How will the House function like this? How can any person say anything in this House and go?" Goyal said demanding an apology from the DMK MP.

The House erupted in rampant sloganeering as Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MPs demanded an apology from Baalu over Kumar's remark.

During the commotion, Union Minister Prahlad Joshi said, "Baalu should apologise. You should apologise first. They are trying to divide the country..."

To his defence, Baalu said, "What is the problem? This is the Question Hour. You cannot dissolve like this." The House was adjourned till noon soon after.

The third day of the Winter Session of Parliament started with shouts of "Maafi Mango" (Apologise) from BJP MPs even before the Speaker started the proceeding for the day in the Lok Sabha.

The BJP MPs were offended by the usage of an unparliamentary word by Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) MP Senthil Kumar while explaining the Bharatiya Janata Party's (BJP) recent win in the three Hindi heartland states.

The shouts continued after Speaker Om Birla was seated and lasted till BJP MP from Gorakhpur Ravi Kishan Shukla started speaking. Shukla was asking a question about the steps taken by the government to improve the efficiency of Coal India.

Earlier on Tuesday, Senthil Kumar triggered a political storm when he said that the power of the BJP in winning elections mainly lies in the Hindi heartland States during which he used the offensive word.

"...the people of this country should think that the power of BJP of winning elections mainly lies in the Hindi heartland States, what we generally call as ... States. You cannot come to South India! You can see what happened in election results in all the States of Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Karnataka. We are very strong over there. So we will not be surprised if you have an option of converting all these states into Union Territory...," the DMK MP had said.

The DMK MP was quick to apologise for his comments in the Lower House saying that he was not using the term with any "intent".

"Commenting on the results of the five recent state assembly elections, I have used a word in an inappropriate way. Not using that term with any intent, I apologize for sending the wrong meaning across," he said in a post on 'X'.

The BJP however continued its attack on the DMK MP accusing members of the INDIA bloc of making divisive comments to vitiate the atmosphere.

Union Minister Anurag Thakur launched an all out attack on the Congress accusing them of conspiring to erase the country's culture.

"After the defeat, they(Congress)have resorted to abuse, and their thinking very clear now...they slam EVMs...They're conspiring to erase the culture and identity of our country...some people stand with 'Tukde-Tukde' gang... but we won't let this nation divide...Their thoughts are to insult Hindutva and Sanatan Dharma. Congress and their alliance (INDIA alliance) keep showing Sanatan Dharma in bad lights...Telangana CM designate made a statement that 'Telangana's DNA is better than Bihar's DNA'...DMK leaders' statements against Sanatan Dharma, Hindus and Hindi speaking people are a well-planned conspiracy" the Union Minister said.

Union Minister Giriraj Singh said, "...I would like to tell both Rahul Gandhi and Stalin father-son duo (MK Stalin and Udhayanidhi Stalin) that 'Ganga' and 'Gau' are the identity of Sanatan in India. 'Gaumata' is the identity of Sanatan in India. Stop mocking and attempting to finish Sanatan...otherwise you yourself will be finished."

The BJP had swept the Hindi heartland states of Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh in the recently concluded elections.


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