New Delhi: Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Rajeev Shukla Friday apologized in the Rajya Sabha on Friday after Congress MP Mani Shankar Aiyar called protesting MPs "animals".
During a debate on CNN-IBN on the deadlock over FDI in retail, Aiyar had said, "There is a decent and respectable way to express one's point of view. This behaviour of MPs reminds me of animals screaming in a well."
Raising the issue during zero hour, members from the BJP, the Left, Samajwadi Party and Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) condemned the remark.
Some said that it was breach of privilege of the house and demanded that the issue be referred to the ethics committee. They said that Aiyar had been a diplomat and had received the best parliamentarian award.
An embarrassed Shukla apologized on behalf of his colleague. "I apologize if he has made any such remarks. I will tell him to come and apologize to members if he has said so. It is not appropriate. I will talk to him," Shukla said.
"In my opinion it is totally inappropriate. If he apologizes, it will be good," he added. Members, however, said it could not be left to Aiyar's wish to apologize or not to.
Deputy Chairman PJ Kurien said the issue had been raised by many members.