Tuesday, March 5, 2024

DMK MP Senthilkumar apologises in Lok Sabhha for controversial remark on heartland states: What we know so far

A day after sparking a huge controversy, with his ‘Gaumutra remark’, Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) Member of Parliament, DNV Senthilkumar S on Wednesday expressed regret over his comment on Hindi-speaking states and said he is withdrawing them. 

“The statement made by me yesterday inadvertently if it had hurt the sentiments of the members and sections of the people, I would like to withdraw it. I request the words to be expunged and I express my regret,” Senthilkumar said in the Lok Sabha on Wednesday.

With his comment, he had intended to target the BJP which recently won assembly elections in the states of Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh. Later, remarks in the DMK MP’s speech were expunged by Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla.

In response to Senthilkumar’s apology, Kirit Premjibhai Solanki who was chairing the House proceedings on Wednesday, said, “It is already expunged but you should regret it. Now it is over.”

‘Maafi Mango’ slogans echoed in Lok Sabha

Opposition of MPs on DMK MP’s Gaumutra remark was one of the highlights of the third day of Lok Sabha proceedings on Wednesday. The parliament session began with shouts of “Maafi Mango” (Apologise) from BJP MPs even before the Speaker started the proceeding for the day in the Lok Sabha.

Union Minister Piyush Goyal sought an apology from DMK MP TR Baalu for Kumar’s comments in the House.

“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.

Despite issuing a public apology on social media, Senthilkumar apologised once again in Lok Sabha on Wednesday. A day ago, he had called Hindi-speaking states ‘Gaumutra’ states while saying that the BJP’s power is limited only to heartland states.

“…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 had subsequently in a post on social media apologised 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,” Senthilkumar said in a post on ‘X’.


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Published: 06 Dec 2023, 02:54 PM IST

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