New Delhi: Seeking to put a lid over the Ambedkar cartoon row, HRD Minister Kapil Sibal on Friday said he has asked the NCERT to remove the offending picture and stop distribution of the textbooks.

Making a statement in the Lok Sabha, Sibal said he had written to the NCERT in April asking it to withdraw the offending cartoon from the Political Science textbook of Class XI.

Sibal said distribution of these textbooks has been stopped and a review has been ordered not just of the cartoons but also of the content of the textbooks.

Next year we will remove all such contents from the textbooks, Sibal said.

Ruckus in LS over Ambedkar cartoon

A cartoon depicting B R Ambedkar purportedly published in a NCERT textbook and row over Home Minister P Chidambaram's statement in the Aircel-Maxis deal on Friday led to disruption of the Lok Sabha.

As soon as the House met, Thirumaa Valavan Thol (VCK) trooped into the Well waving placards claiming insult to Ambedkar in a cartoon in an Class XI NCERT textbook. The House was first adjourned till noon and then till 2 pm amid uproar.

At the same time, BJP members Yashwant Sinha and Shahnawaz Hussain and a few others were on their feet protesting Chidambaram reading out his son Karti's statement in the Lok Sabha on Thursday.

Leader of the Opposition Sushma Swaraj sought to know from Speaker Meira Kumar as to how a Minister could read out his son's statement on the pretext of giving a personal explanation to the House.

"Instead of making a personal explanation, he read out a statement on behalf of his son and also invoked Jesus Christ. Why did the Chair allow the statement," Swaraj asked.

Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal said Chidambaram was well within his rights to make a personal statement as Sinha (BJP) had levelled "irresponsible and reckless" allegations against the Home Minister and his son.

He said Sinha had levelled the allegations against Chidambaram without giving a notice to him as per Parliamentary practice.

"The statement was necessary and no rules were flouted," Bansal said adding that the BJP member had sought to link two separate matters that had happened in June and in October.

As Bansal was making his statement on Aircel-Maxis issue involving Chidambaram, Valavan was seen waving a placard and distributing copies of the cartoon among the members.

Later, when allowed to speak, the VCK member demanded HRD Minister Kapil Sibal's resignation triggering uproar.

Mayawati threatens to stall Parliament

Taking the Ambedkar issue, BSP Chief Mayawati declared she will not allow the Parliament to function if action was not taken those responsible for the act within three days.

"This is an insult on Indian democracy. The government should intervene and take strong action against those, who are involved in this.

If it failed to do so, we will wait for two to three days or else our party will not allow the House to run," Mayawati told reporters outside the Parliament.

HRD Ministry later said that the government has ordered removal of the cartoon from the NCERT textbooks.

Members of her party forced adjournments in both the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha over the issue and disallowed HRD Minister Kapil Sibal from making a statement.

LJP chief Ram Vilas Paswan also slammed the publication as "highly deplorable". He said that those who have made this kind of cartoon and also those who endorsed it should not only be suspended but should be booked under the SC/ST act.

Wondering how can such objectionable material creep into NCERT books, a visibly angry Paswan said, "NCERT should be closed down."

RJD leader Lalu Prasad termed Ambedkar's depiction in the cartoon as "very sad" and said it should not have happened. He said Ambedkar had a very big role in framing of the Constitution.

Striking a similar note, JD-U President Sharad Yadav said that he was anguished over the depiction and hoped that it will be removed from the book soon.

TMC terms Ambedkar cartoon 'shameful'

UPA's key ally Trinamool Congress termed as "a crime and a very shameful matter" the issue of publication of a cartoon of B R Ambedkar in an NCERT text book and demanded "strong action" against the officials responsible for it.

"This is a very shameful matter. This is a crime. Whoever has published who drew it...it spoils image of not only the government, but the entire country," Trinamool Congress leader and Minister of State for Tourism Sultan Ahmed told reporters outside the Parliament House.

Observing that there is already discrimination in the society, he said, "If such type of things comes to light, it will strengthen forces which want to divide the country on social and religious lines."

"Government should take strong action against the publication and officials," he said.

(Agencies)

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