Published: Thu, January 18, 2018
World Media | By Shelia Harmon

Parliament winter session: Opposition disrupts Lok Sabha proceedings over Anant Hegde's remarks

Parliament winter session: Opposition disrupts Lok Sabha proceedings over Anant Hegde's remarks

Talking to the reporters outside Parliament, Hegde said, "I deeply respect the Constitution, the Parliament & Baba Saheb Ambedkar".

Two Union ministers of state have put the government in a spot of bother with remarks that undermine the Constitution they are sworn to uphold.

"Seculars do not know what their blood is".

Hegde further said the Bharatiya Janata Party had come to power to "change the Constitution" (to remove the word "secular") and would do so in the "near future".

On Wednesday, both Houses of Parliament saw repeated adjournments after Opposition parties protested against Hegde's remarks.

He then asked Leader of House Arun Jaitley to speak, but a large number of opposition members continued their protest, shouting slogans and seeking action against Hegde.

Anant Kumar Hegde is an RSS member and one-time ABVP activist.

Hegde, who was recently in the news for terming 18 Century Mysore ruler and Indian freedom fighter Tipu Sultan as a "wretched fanatic and mass rapist" said: "Some people say the Constitution says secular and you must accept it. We request the opposition to not disrupt the proceedings", he said, accusing the Congress of indulging in "pseudo-secularism".

Urging people to identify with their religion or caste, Hegde said, "I will bow to you, you are aware of your blood".

Addressing a Congress rally in Hubli on Monday, Siddaramaiah said that it was impossible to turn a secular country into a Hindu Rashtra.

External affairs minister Sushma Swaraj is scheduled to make a statement on the Jadav episode in Parliament on Thursday. "BJP is planning to keep aside the interests of lower class people; this is the main reason why they are talking about changing constitution". "They don't know about their parentage, but they are intellectuals".

While Hegde's latest remarks are part of the old vote-bank tactic of the BJP, the minister was also giving voice to an old-time demand of the RSS, that the Manusmriti be promulgated as the Constitution instead. "Instead of condemning his speech, Prime Minister Narendra Modi should axe Hegde from the Cabinet", Stalin opined.

"Should he remain in the Union Council of Ministers?"

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