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FIREWORKS IN RS OVER SELJA'S DALIT REMARK.

THE RAJYA Sabha on Wednesday for most part remained disrupted owing to a spat between former Union minister and Congress leader Kumari Selja as Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and Power Minister Piyush Goyal countered her allegation that she had been discriminated based on her caste at a temple in Gujarat in 2013.

Jaitley produced a signed entry made by Selja in the visitor's book at the Dwarkadheesh temple in which she had lauded the premises for " excellent" upkeep and maintenance and had said that she had a " very good darshan". The entry had been made at the temple in February 2013.

M AIL T ODAY accessed Parliamentary papers documenting both Selja's statements made in the House on Monday and a copy of the visitors' log produced by Jaitley.

Selja had stated in the House that she had been asked her caste when she visited the Dwarka temple. " I had visited Gujarat while I was a Cabinet minister in the UPA government. I am a Dalit but a Hindu and I also want to go to temples.

When I went to Dwarka, I thought I will visit the Dwarka temple. But see this instance of Gujarat model... I was asked at the temple in Dwarka what was my caste," she had said.

Selja retorted that she had not referred to the main Dwarka temple and was talking about the ' Bet Dwarka'. " Please don't try to mislead the House. That day, I had made it very clear that it was ' Bet Dwarka' and not the main Dwarka ( temple).

Please don't do this, Leader of the House. It doesn't behoove you," she said.

While the Congress wanted Goyal's remarks against Selja expunged from the parliamentary records, Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said both remarks should be expunged. " If the Congress thinks that Kumari Selja was hurt with the BJP's remarks, they must understand that she also made a remark that hurt crores of people of India. If they want our remarks expunged, Selja's statements should also be treated the same," he said.

The former Union minister, who is a Dalit, had said that she had faced discrimination over her caste in the Dwarka temple Congress MP Kumari Selja in the Rajya Sabha.

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Publication:Mail Today (New Delhi, India)
Geographic Code:9INDI
Date:Dec 3, 2015
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