NEW DELHI -- Following an intense backlash against Union Minister V.K. Singh's "dog" remark on Thursday, Home Minister Rajnath Singh warned leaders of the Bharatiya Janata Party against making irresponsible remarks in sensitive situations.
In an appalling reaction to the death of two Dalit children as a consequence of intercaste violence in Haryana, Singh said that the government should not be blamed for the tragic episode, in the same vein as the government is not responsible if "someone throws stones at a dog."
The BJP forms the government in Haryana and at the Centre. He has served as an army chief, and is currently the Minister of State For External Affairs.
Despite the outrage caused by his remark, Singh did not offer a full apology, but he criticised the media for misinterpreting his remark, and suggested that journalists should be admitted to the Agra Mental Health Institute.
"We all need to be extra careful while speaking, and we need to ensure that our statements cannot be misinterpreted," Singh told ANI on Friday.
"We cannot later excuse ourselves by saying that our remarks were misinterpreted. We will have to speak with extreme caution," he said.
Meanwhile, Bharatiya Janata Party's political opponents have stepped up their demand for Singh to be sacked for his remark, and the Aam Aadmi Party plans to file an FIR against him under the SC/ST Prevention of Atrocities Act.
On Tuesday morning, two children - a baby girl and her two-year-old brother - were burnt alive when men from the Rajput community allegedly set a Dalit family on fire in Sunped village, Faridabad.
Bihar's Dalit leader Lalu Prasad Yadav said that Singh's remarks reflected the mindset of the BJP. "Those who insult Dalits and backward castes are respected within the BJP-RSS," he said.
जो V.K Singh बोला वही BJP का मूल विचार है. जो दलित-पिछड़ा को जितना अधिक गाली देगा, शोषण करेगा उसको RSS व BJP उतना ही बड़ा नेता मानता है— Lalu Prasad Yadav (@laluprasadrjd) October 22, 2015