Government on Wednesday countered Congress member Selja’s claim that she had faced discrimination at the Dwarkadheesh temple in Gujarat because of her caste, with Finance Minister Arun Jaitley citing the visitor’s book in which she had lauded the "excellent" arrangements there.
Jaitley, who is also the Leader of the Rajya Sabha, brought to the House a copy of the page of the Visitor’s book of the temple in which Selja had purportedly written her remarks with her signature.
He read out the comments which said, "With Lord Krishna’s blessings, had a very good darshan. The upkeep and maintenance of the premises is excellent. May the Lord bless all those who are fortunate enough to come here for his blessings."
The remarks with Selja’s signature were written on February 22, 2013. The page also carries a stamp of the temple.
As Jaitley read out the remarks amid din created by the Congress members over the issue, Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi again read out the page in the House later.
Selja, while participating in a debate on the Constitution on Monday, had alleged that she had faced discrimination at the temple when she visited there as a Union Minister some years back as she was asked about her caste.
She had alleged that "this was also a form of the Gujarat model", an apparent attack on Narendra Modi.
Jaitley had immediately asked her whether she had raised the issue at that time with the then Chief Minister Narendra Modi or Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.
To this, she had refused to reply, saying, "I choose not to answer that."
Congress members on Wednesday stalled the House during the pre-lunch session creating uproar over the issue.