Putting to rest the controversy surrounding his remarks on the Constitution, Minister of State Anantkumar Hegde Thursday tendered an apology and claimed that his words were twisted.
“My words have been twisted and presented, I never said all this… But if someone was hurt, I apologise to those members,” Anantkumar Hegde said in Lok Sabha.
Towards the end of question hour, Speaker Sumitra Mahajan urged him to apologise if he had offended anyone with his comments. “Sometimes in life we feel what we have said is right, but others may still get hurt,” she said.
Hegde earlier said that the Constitution was supreme to him and, as a citizen, he can never go against it.
“I deeply respect the Constitution, the Parliament and Baba Saheb Ambedkar. The Constitution is supreme for me, there can be no question on it, as a citizen I can never go against it,” he said.
After Leader of Congress in Lok Sabha, Mallikarjun Kharge objected to his clarification, Hegde said he will tender an apology if anyone was hurt by his comments.
On Wednesday, both Houses of Parliament saw repeated adjournments after Opposition parties protested against Hegde’s remarks. They demanded the BJP to sack the minister if he fails to apologise. On Sunday, at an event in Karnataka, Hegde said that while they respect the “word secular”, the BJP has come to power to “change the Consitution”. He also heaped scorn on “secularists” and said they are like people “without parentage”.
He said: “Those who, without knowing about their parental blood, call themselves secular, they don’t have their own identity…They don’t know about their parentage, but they are intellectuals.
“Some people say the Constitution says secular and you must accept it. We will respect the Constitution, but the Constitution has changed several times and it will change in the future too. We are here to change the Constitution and we’ll change it soon.”