Union minister Smriti Irani on Tuesday hit back at the TMCs criticism of the national emblem atop the new Parliament building, asserting that it is not unexpected from a party which insults Goddess Kali and has scant regard for Constitution. Her comments came after bureaucrat turned Trinamool Congress MP Jawhar Sircar claimed that the Asokan lions in the original national emblem were graceful while those put atop the new Parliament building were aggressive.
“Those leaders who have either disregarded or discarded the Constitution over the years are expected to oppose the national emblem. Today they are afraid of the national emblem, which is the pride of our country. It is not unexpected from the party and its leaders who insult Goddess Kali to insult the national emblem,” Irani told a press conference at Howrah.
Sharing photographs of both versions of the emblem in a tweet, Sircar has said, “Insult to our national symbol, the majestic Ashokan Lions. Original is on the left, graceful, regally confident. The one on the right is Modis version, put above the new Parliament building snarling, unnecessarily aggressive and disproportionate. Shame! Change it immediately!” His party colleague and Lok Sabha MP Mahua Moitra also tweeted two images of the national emblem comparing the past structure with the one installed atop the new Parliament building.
By claiming the TMC insulted Goddess Kali, Irani referred to Moitras statement made at a conclave here on July 5 that she had every right as an individual to imagine Goddess Kali as a meat-eating and alcohol-accepting deity, as each person has his or her own unique way of offering prayers.
Police complaints accusing her of hurting the religious sentiment of the Hindus have been made in various states against Moitra for the remarks.
Reacting to Iranis allegations, the TMC supported what its MPs said about the national emblem.
It is a disaster. The four lions, which should be magnanimous and regal, appear aggressive and disproportionate. This is what happens when opposition leaders are not taken into confidence and consulted. This is against the spirit of cooperative federalism, TMC national spokesperson and senior minister Dr Shashi Panja said.
Slamming Sircar also for questioning her appointment as the minority affairs minister following the resignation of Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, Irani said as a cabinet minister she is serving the country and all the communities in it.
“We had many heads of state who belonged to different religions. It is our constitutional responsibility to ensure we serve all and appease none. As minister of minority affairs, I serve India and all the communities, especially those communities that the Constitution has deemed fit for my office to serve,” she said.
The portfolio of the minority affairs minister generally goes to a leader belonging to a minority community.
Sircar had tweeted: “Hardcore Hindu, married to a Parsi given charge of Muslims, Christians. Is this BJPs brand of secularism?” To a question, Irani claimed that if the TMC does not support NDA Presidential nominee Droupadi Murmu, it will prove that the party is against tribals and the poor.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by The Federal staff and is auto-published from a syndicated feed.)