Goel vs Kharge: Union Minister demands apology from Congress over controversial statement on southern nation

Goel vs Kharge:The controversy arose when Goyal read out the English translation of the statement made by D K Suresh in Kannada.

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Courtesy: ANI

Goel vs Kharge: In a fiery exchange in the Rajya Sabha today, Union Minister for Commerce and Industry, Piyush Goyal, demanded an apology from the Congress party for a controversial statement made by party MP D K Suresh. The statement suggested a call for a separate southern nation due to alleged fiscal injustice, which sparked a heated debate in the upper house of Parliament.

Addressing the Upper House, Goyal expressed his concern over what he termed the "divisive" thinking of the Congress party as reflected in Suresh's statement. "The Congress has in the past divided the nation and the latest statement is an example of the same thinking of the party," he said.

Piyush Goyal condemned Suresh's statement

The Union Minister highlighted the importance of allegiance to the Constitution of India, emphasizing that even for contesting elections, candidates must take an oath of affirmation to the nation's foundational document. Goyal strongly condemned Suresh's statement, stating that it amounted to an attack on the Constitution and insulted the sovereignty and integrity of the country.

The Union Minister posed direct questions to the Congress president, challenging the party's stance on the controversial statement. He urged clarification on whether the Congress associated itself with the statement and questioned the party's commitment to the unity of the nation.

"The country will not tolerate this divisive approach of the Congress. I condemn the Congress party and its leaders and demand that they apologize for the statement," Goyal declared.

What did Mallikarjun Kharge say about Goyal's allegation?

In response, Leader of the Opposition and Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge defended Suresh, stating that as he is not a member of the Rajya Sabha, his conduct should not be debated in the house. Kharge urged that if there were any concerns regarding the statement, they should be examined by the privileges committee of the Lok Sabha.

Congress President said, "I have not heard such a statement and Suresh has also clarified that he has not said anything like this. If he or anyone else has said this, then action should be taken against him. If anyone wants to talk about breaking the country, we will not forget him, whether he is from our party or someone else."

Chairman Jagdeep Dhankhar disagreed, citing his earlier rulings that allowed the discussion of statements made by Lok Sabha members in the Rajya Sabha. Kharge insisted that Suresh had clarified on television that his statement had been misreported.

"I will not wait for anyone to tell us on this kind of thing, I myself will stand in front and say that from Kanyakumari to Kashmir, we Indians are one and will remain united. Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi even gave their lives for this unity. We will never tolerate the accusation of dividing the country against such a party. It is not right to repeat what he did not say here in the House," Kharge said. 

What is root cause of debate?

The controversy arose when Goyal read out the English translation of the statement made by D K Suresh in Kannada. Suresh purportedly claimed that southern states were not receiving their due share of taxes, leading to the consideration of demanding a separate nation if the alleged fiscal injustice persisted.