New Delhi: Union minister Giriraj Singh has expressed regret over his racist comments against Congress President Sonia Gandhi.
"During off record sessions, many things are said. If Rahul Gandhi or Sonia Gandhi are hurt by my statements, I regret what I said," said Giriraj Singh.
"People do talk off the record among each other, it's a different thing how it is presented," he added.
Singh courted another controversy today by making a shocking remark about colour of Congress president Sonia Gandhi's skin.
He said that it was the colour of Sonia's skin that made her the Congress chief.
"If Rajiv Gandhi had married a Nigerian and if she wasn't white skin, would Congress accept her as a leader?" the BJP MP from Bihar said.
Giriraj Singh made these remarks while addressing a press conference in Hajipur in Bihar.
This is not the first time that Giriraj Singh has courted controversy. Earlier, he had asked all those opposing Prime Minister Narendra Modi to move to Pakistan.
Singh was included in Modi's Cabinet last year as a Minister of State for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises.
Singh also took a swipe on Rahul Gandhi's absence from Parliament and compared him with the missing Malaysian Airlines flight.
"Imagine a situation, if Congress was in power instead of us and had Rahul been the Prime Minister, and if for some reason, the PM had disappeared for more than 47 days," Singh said.
"Absence of Congress Vice President is similar to that of the missing Malaysian airliner that still has not been located. The same way the Congress leader was not present in the budget session. No one in Congress is ready to speak. This is unfortunate for the Congress and a joke for the country," he said.
Reacting sharply to Singh's remarks, senior Congress leader Digvijay Singh has demanded his immediate resignation.
Congress leader and former minister of state for home RPN Singh demanded that Prime Minister Narendra Modi should publicly apologise for Giriraj Singh's racist remark.
“I strongly condemn the derogatory remarks used by a Union Minister against Smt. Sonia Gandhi. It is not just derogatory to Sonia Gandhi, but to the all women of this country. I think it has become a habit with BJP ministers to make these kinds of outlandish remarks. It is time for the Prime Minister who keeps saying that these kinds of remarks should not be made, but every week we had a remark made by some MP or some minister in the government. We seek apology from the Prime Minister,” he said.
Reacting to Singh's comment, CPI(M) leader Brinda Karat said, " This is a very derogatory remark and in full contempt for working women, this is racist. In our country there is no code of conduct which can control such remarks, it's unfortunate."