BJP members also hit back at the Congress saying the Opposition party was raising the issue due to the criticism of its vice president Rahul Gandhi over his visit to JNU.

As the House met for the day, Deputy Leader of Congress in Rajya Sabha Anand Sharma raised a point of order saying the onstitution and rules do not permit anything to be raised in the House which is blasphemous and can hurt religious sentiments.

Irani, he said, had read out "insulting" comments made against Goddess Durga "verbatim" in the House hurting sentiments and sought a ruling from the Chair as to whether such comments made outside Parliament against any religious figure or a deity can be read out inside the House.

Members of other opposition parties also agreed with KC Tyagi of JD(U) demanding that Irani should unconditionally apologise for the comments read out by her.

Irani, however, remained unfazed by the criticism and asserted that she herself was a "practising hindu and a Durga worshipper".

The HRD Minister also insisted that she had read out the comments from authenticated documents from JNU as she was repeatedly being asked to explain what was the evidence against students accused of anti-national acts, which some parties were giving respectability to.

Leader of Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad then said it is a "very serious issue" and the "minister should apologise for what she said yesterday."

Azad said there were campaigns against many religious figures but all this cannot be raised in the House.

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