Giriraj gem again: Had Rajiv Gandhi married Nigerian, would she be leader?

Singh subsequently expressed 'regret' over the statement, but complained that what he had said had been 'off the record'.

By: Express News Service | New Delhi | Updated: April 2, 2015 6:45 am
Giriraj Singh, Sonia Gandhi, Giriraj singh Sonia remark, Giriraj singh BJP, Giriraj Singh racist comment, giriraj singh video, giriraj singh remark, india news, nation news Giriraj Singh subsequently expressed ‘regret’ over the statement, but complained that what he had said had been ‘off the record’.

Union minister Giriraj Singh has been caught on camera saying that had Rajiv Gandhi married a “Nigerian” woman instead of the “fair-skinned” Sonia Gandhi, the Congress party would not have accepted her as its leader.

Also Read: Nigerian envoy takes strong objection to Giriraj Singh’s comments

Hours after the video became public, an appalled Nigerian High Commission demanded an apology, and said that it might file a complaint with the Ministry of External Affairs. The Congress condemned the remarks as “intemperate and distasteful”.

Share This Article
Related Article

Singh subsequently expressed “regret” over the statement, but complained that what he had said had been “off the record”. At an election meeting last year, Singh, who is the union Minister of State for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises, had said that all those who were opposed to Narendra Modi should prepare to leave for Pakistan.

In a video that was made on Tuesday night, and became public on Wednesday, Singh, the BJP MP from Nawada in Bihar, is heard saying, “Agar Rajiv Gandhi koi Nigerian ladies se byaah kiye hote, gori chamra na hota, toh kya Congress party uska netritwa sweekarti kya? (Had Rajiv married a Nigerian lady, had she not been fair-skinned, would the Congress have accepted her leadership?)”

Watch the video below

Singh was in Hajipur, and was talking informally to reporters at the local Circuit House. Loud guffaws can be heard after his comments; Singh himself is seen smiling broadly in the video.

Singh, who returned to Delhi on Wednesday morning, told reporters later in the day, “On many occasions, many things are said off the record… but still, chahe Soniaji hon, chahe Rahulji hon, ya anya koi, kisi ka bhi agar meri baaton se dil dukha hai, chot pahunchi hai, toh main iske liye khed prakat karta hoon. (be it Soniaji, Rahulji or anyone else, if I have hurt them, I express regret…)”

In another part of the Hajipur video, Singh is purportedly heard comparing Rahul Gandhi’s current absence to the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, in which 239 passengers and crew were lost last year.

…Rahulji kahaan hain… yeh toh bhai… Asia ka ek jahaaj hai, kuchh gayab hua, aaj tak pataa nahin kahaan chalaa gaya… usi tarah se Congress netritwa… (Where is Rahulji… there was this aircraft that disappeared, no one knows where it went… in the same way, the Congress leadership…),” Singh purportedly says.

In the afternoon, the Acting High Commissioner of Nigeria, O B Okongor, said the minister’s comments were “in very bad taste” and “unacceptable”.

“We expect the minister to withdraw the comments and apologise to the Nigerian people. We will notify our government about the issue,” he said. Asked if the High Commission would formally complain to the Ministry of External Affairs, Okongor said, “We need to file a complaint.”

In Patna, RJD chief Lalu Prasad said Singh’s remarks were the products of the “dirty politics” of the RSS. “Giriraj Singh should be made to wear bangles and a bindi, and made to walk around with his face blackened. This is dirty politics,” Lalu said. He added it was time a law was brought to discourage such statements. “But what one can expect from a party influenced by the RSS?”

In Delhi, the Congress demanded Singh’s dismissal from the Ministry, and rejected the minister’s defence that he had spoken “off the record”.

”Congress strongly deprecates and condemns the intemperate and distasteful remarks of union Minister Giriraj Singh bordering on insanity. It appears that the continuous quest to appease Prime Minister Modi has made him lose his balance. Such remarks are reflective of the lack of moral fibre in the BJP and its cadre,” Congress communications department head Randeep Surjewala said.

Surjewala said Singh was known for “similar vexation in the past”, referring to his April 2014 comment about Modi’s opponents being packed off to Pakistan. He also mentioned an alleged theft at Singh’s Patna home in July last year, in which a sum bigger than what the minister had told the police was recovered from the alleged thief.

“Perhaps he is the only person who refused to reclaim Rs 1.14 crore of currency as also US dollars recovered by police after apprehending those who committed a theft in his house. For conduct of this nature, he was rewarded by Prime Minister Modi by appointing him as a Minister in union cabinet,” Surjewala said.

In response, BJP spokesperson GVL Narasimha Rao said that Singh has already expressed regret. “However, the moot question remains is that the Congress is a family-run political party and (Sonia) had become the president only by virtue of her marriage, not by merit. Congress needs to explain it.” he said.

The Bihar BJP leadership, however, disowned Singh’s remarks. A senior BJP leader in Patna called the minister a “constant trouble-maker”. Singh, a prominent upper-caste Bhumihar leader from Lakhisarai, had caught the central leadership’s eye after he started to aggressively take on Nitish Kumar to defend Modi around the time of the split between the JD(U) and BJP in Bihar.

In Delhi, BJP spokesperson Rao, when asked about Goa Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar’s alleged advice to agitating nurses that they should not be out in the sun because it would make them “dark” and “ruin their marital prospects”, said, “Some of these comments are avoidable, as such comments receive a lot of media attention. One should be careful about making statements.”


For all the latest India News, download Indian Express App now

  1. J
    Apr 2, 2015 at 9:14 am
    A stupid topic that doesn't deserve a doggone discussion.
    1. S
      Apr 2, 2015 at 6:48 am
      Look at our filmi heroines - north, south, east, west. Do they look gori, gori or Sawli, Sawli. Even the heroes for that matter. It is a matter of physical attraction and dominant taste trend and marketability. See the advertising models. Are they representative of people cross- section. NO, it is a FACT. Calling it racism is fashionable to toe the line of Eurocentric paradigm of looking at people. In USA you have fill in your race in filling many a forms. In one extended family in India it is common to have people with many shades of skin color. Am also reminded of Sarat Chandra Chatterjee's story of a dark skinned girl. I cried reading that story. All this Congress and related outrage is hypocritical.
      1. T
        Apr 1, 2015 at 1:59 pm
        Nation deserved this Minister because when we elect such leaders who may not clear a cl III vacany test. How can he know the natives inhabiting Southern parts of India get dark compleion due to the proximity to equator while those have crossed Khyber p to India have features of Greek. So Giriraj and his likes can enjoy talking nasty because we elected him and his PM irrespective of intentions have to have likes of Giriraj on his back.
        1. T
          Apr 1, 2015 at 7:06 pm
          ignore Giriraj his speeches are outburst of a man who had boils in the area covered by langot.
          1. A
            Apr 1, 2015 at 10:36 pm
            @ shyamal ganguly: Congress is pro-USA?? Are you crazy? Have you heard of nehrus non alignment policy? So u didn't lik Modi's overtures to Obama during republic day?
            1. A
              Apr 1, 2015 at 9:55 pm
              Its surprising and shocking that, Giriraj Singh even after warnings from BJP in the recent past, has again dared to make a very controversial comment. Till when shall we have to tolerate such leaders who are blot on BJP as well as on India? Should BJP not set a good example by expelling Mr Giriraj Singh from Party?
              1. A
                Anurag Srivastava
                Apr 1, 2015 at 1:55 pm
                Shri Giriraj should first explain his bacgroung.
                1. A
                  Apr 1, 2015 at 2:28 pm
                  Giriraj Singh, is always feeding Congress Party leaders to attack BJP by his loose talks.It is in the interest of BJP he must be removed from party.
                  1. A
                    Ashok Kriplani
                    Apr 2, 2015 at 7:43 am
                    He in fact has said what he gets feed back from BJP, it is however a different thing they may be saying so inside the four walls.
                    1. A
                      Apr 1, 2015 at 2:29 pm
                      More to the point what if she turned up in India and at Congress's doorstep and not married to a hi. She would have been shown the exit almost straight away. All because Congress is a One Family Business! Like all those other Congress like spin-offs, but with different names.
                      1. D
                        Dr. Ganesh
                        Apr 2, 2015 at 1:38 pm
                        He is perfectly right. We are racial more than the whites in Europe and the US. if our two neibhours one has a child who is pitch black and the other white, please note that we will take in our arms only the child with white colour. This has gone into our blood and especially people living in cites/towns of India
                        1. S
                          Apr 1, 2015 at 6:24 pm
                          There is no reason for expressing regret. The anti-Hindus are making of India a inferior Nation. The leaders of the anti-Hindu Congress are - if the informations are right - have also foreign nationality, next to the Indian one. This must be forbidden, because, Indians must have only the Indian na- tionality. Hindustan is not a copy of foreign country. It is independent and unique. This is the beauty of Bharat, its tradition, culture and Sanatan Dharma. Be your own and original. The anti-Hindu Congress can not even appoint an educated native lady as their leader, but is running behind a foreign born woman who even do not master the local language and is a supporter of the vatican-looters.
                          1. R
                            Apr 1, 2015 at 2:49 pm
                            Ha ha. Just last week, these leftist mother f**kers were lying and communalizing r@pe. The same b****ds who have called our Coast Guard liars, declared martyrs as communal killers and support terrorists any chance they get. But this pointless statement from Giriraj is apparently totally unacceptable for the b****ds!!!
                            1. R
                              Apr 1, 2015 at 1:42 pm
                              Uhm, what exactly is racist about this? He is simply asking whether a Nigerian waitress has the same chance in Congress as an Italian waitress?
                              1. B
                                Apr 1, 2015 at 6:13 pm
                                GHATIYA AADMI GHATIYA BAATEN KARTA HAI .
                                1. R
                                  Ram Rahim
                                  Apr 1, 2015 at 4:30 pm
                                  Very appropriate question. Congress Party members dare to answer. What happens if Pappu decides to marry a Kenyan or Uian or Ethopian?
                                  1. G
                                    Apr 1, 2015 at 4:29 pm
                                    He is right.. and the Indian market flooded with skin whitening creams prove that.Ever growing willingness of Indians to look and live like westerners is evident from those products and the amount of importance English is given over other Indian languages. We are still enslaved by Britishers from within.
                                    1. C
                                      Apr 1, 2015 at 3:36 pm
                                      I think he is suggesting that if RAGA(Rahul hi) marries a Nigerian these congressi will not accept his wife as their leader like her mother as congress as a w is a racist party. He has not made a racist comment rather he has accused congress of racism. And in my personal opinian we indian are somewhat racist at our heart as we still care about color of skin in our daily life. So we should not only blame this minister we also should look into our heart which will give us correct answer where we are and where our society is heading.
                                      1. U
                                        Apr 1, 2015 at 4:47 pm
                                        He is the Digvijay Singh of BJP .. lol
                                        1. K
                                          Apr 1, 2015 at 5:05 pm
                                          Many of our politicians are making ic statements. Modi should ask them to confine their speeches to their portfolios. Giriraj Singh has confirmed the world view that Indians who complain that that westerners are racists are themselves very racist. Being dark skinned Indians love and adore white skinned people and look down upon coloured people even though they are themselves dark skinned.
                                          1. R
                                            Reetmohinder Sekhon
                                            Apr 1, 2015 at 4:00 pm
                                            Ifs and buts could as easily apply to the Minster, Shri Giriraj Singh. One is led to wonder by his familiarly frivolous comments if he has anything better to convey to either the media or the public. The good man should stop insulting his own and the audience's intelligence by making distasteful comments which are anything but funny. He has been given an opportunity to prove himself in serving the public. As such, he should stop embarring the P.M. and his party, but instead get on with the entrusted job forthwith lest he arouses the ire of his boss, a hard taskmaster.
                                            1. Load More Comments