Bhopal, April 2: A day after the controversial Bihar BJP leader and MoS Giriraj Singh made racist comments against the Congress President Sonia Gandhi, the latter said she would not like to respond to people with narrow mindset.
Gandhi, who arrived this morning in BJP-ruled Madhya Pradesh to meet farmers and take stock of the damage caused to the crops due to unseasonal rains and hailstorm, said, "It is difficult to react on such remarks. Won't comment on such people who have narrow mindset." [Racial coment on Sonia Gandhi: Matter ends as Giriraj clarified, says BJP]
On being asked about Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi's absence, she said, "He will return soon and he will soon go in the midst of farmers."
Singh's appalling remarks forced BJP President Amit Shah to ask him to refrain from making such remarks.
A few Congress workers on Thursday protested Singh's remark on Gandhi's skin colour that triggered a row. [Congress workers protest outside Giriraj's residence]
The workers protested outside Vithal Bhai Patel House in New Delhi area around 9.30 a.m. and were detained by police. The workers held posters and shouted slogans against Singh.
On Wednesday, April 1, Giriraj Singh told reporters in Patna that he wondered "if former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi had married a woman who was not white-skinned, would the Congress have accepted her as its president." [BJP leader Giriraj Singh makes racist comment against Congress President Sonia Gandhi]
"If Rajiv Gandhi had married a Nigerian and if she wasn't white-skinned, would the Congress have accepted her as a leader," he had said.
After the remarks caused outrage, he expressed regret and said his remarks were made during an off-the-record conversation.
Robert Vadra slates Giriraj Singh for barbs at Sonia Gandhi
The racist barb by Singh against his mother-in-law Sonia Gandhi drew a sharp reaction from Robert Vadra who took to social media to condemn the comments.
"Appalled to read the comments by a Union Minister on the Congress President/My mother in Law. A woman of immense dignity. "Is this the way we speak about a lady, who has undergone hardships all thru her life and has lost her loved ones for the nation," Vadra said on Facebook.
Linking it with the larger issue of respect to women in the country, the Congress President's son-in-law said "if the government and their ministers cannot respect her, if they make...racist comments about her, what about all the other women in our country?"
Giriraj Singh should apologise for his racist remarks: Nigerian Diplomat
The Nigerian mission in New Delhi also indicated it might take up the issue with the Indian government. Nigerian diplomat O.B. Okongor said Giriraj Singh should apologise for his racist remarks.
Terming the remarks unfortunate, Okongor said he expects the minister to withdraw the comment and apologise.
The diplomat said: "It was unfortunate that the comment is coming from a minister who also doubles as representative of India."
"He should withdraw the comment and apologise to the people of Nigeria," the diplomat added.
The Nigerian official said he would file a complaint against the minister's remark with the Indian foreign ministry and notify his government for further instructions on the issue.