New Delhi: The BJP has agreed to relocate an election meeting this evening which will be addressed by Niranjan Jyoti, the union minister whose hate speech earlier this month stalled parliament for days, with the opposition demanding her resignation.
Ms Jyoti, 47, was meant to hold a nukkad sabha or 'corner meet' this evening in Trilokpuri, a part of the capital which was seared by communal riots last month. The BJP has acquiesced to the police's requet to move the meeting to larger public park.
Delhi is likely to vote early next year for its new government.
Two weekends ago, Ms Jyoti's speech in another part of Delhi included hugely offensive remarks about minorities. She apologized to parliament on the orders of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. He then urged the opposition to get back to work and forgive the minister, who, he stressed is a first-timer MP and has "a rural background."
An unmoved opposition said the minister's remarks, designed to incite communal hatred, were against the constititution; leaders like Anand Sharma of the Congress said she should be jailed on criminal charges that carry a three-year sentence.
The government made it clear last week that it would not remove the minister; the BJP said she would be asked to campaign extensively for the party.
The Lok Sabha or Lower House, where the government is in a majority, functioned in fits and starts intermittently through last week. But a united opposition in the Rajya Sabha or Upper House prevented any business from being transacted. Because the ruling BJP and its allies are in a minority here, the government agreed to a truce this morning. The compromise was centred on the Chairman of the House, Vice President Hamid Ansari, cautioning members not to make any remarks "against the constitution and parliamentary democracy ."