Congress MP Ravneet Singh Bittu, who stirred up a row with his “pious seats” remarks, on Monday offered “unconditional apology”, saying he did not intend to hurt anyone, an official statement said.
Mr Bittu had been asked by the Punjab State Commission for Scheduled Caste to appear before it.
The summons was issued a day after a Shiromani Akali Dal delegation, led by MLA Pawan Kumar Tinu lodged a complaint against the Ludhiana MP for allegedly making “casteist” remarks against Dalits.
“Member Parliament Ravneet Singh Bittu, who was summoned by the Punjab State Commission for Scheduled Castes, today appeared before the Commission and presented his version about his unparliamentary remarks,” an official statement said.
The statement quoting the Commission’s Chairperson Tejinder Kaur said during the hearing, Mr Bittu said it was not his intention to make any statement against the Scheduled Caste community.
“If his statement has hurt anyone then he offers unconditional apology,” the statement quoted Mr Bittu as saying.
After this, the Commission directed Mr Bittu to present his version in writing within two days.
The state’s opposition parties on Tuesday had slammed Bittu for allegedly insulting Dalits by saying that the SAD left “pious seats” like Anandpur Sahib and Chamkaur Sahib to its ally Bahujan Samaj Party.
He made the comments in a video posted on his Facebook page after the SAD and the BSP stitched an alliance last week for the next year’s Punjab assembly polls.
Tejinder Kaur had said on Wednesday the Commission received a complaint from Pawan Kumar Tinu in this regard.
A SAD delegation had apprised the state SC Commission chairperson of Mr Bittu’s video in which he allegedly uttered “objectionable” remarks against the Dalit community.
The delegation had demanded that the Commission should act on the issue immediately to prevent any flare-up in the state.
Other parties including the BSP and the BJP had also criticised Mr Bittu’s remarks.