A row erupted in Parliament over Union Minister of State Anantkumar Hegde’s controversial remarks which led to repeated adjournments in both Houses on Wednesday. Despite the BJP distancing itself from Hegde’s statement that the party would soon “change the Constitution”, the Opposition remained unconvinced and demanded the sacking of the minister.
Members of the Congress trooped into the Well raising slogans demanding the removal of Hegde from the Council of Ministers. “Ambedkar ka apman nahin chalega (We will not tolerate the insult of B R Ambedkar),” they were heard shouting amid the din.
While Mallikarjun Kharge, Leader of Congress in the Lok Sabha, raised the issue in the lower House, Congress’ Ghulam Nabi Azad said in the Rajya Sabha that Hegde has “no right to be a member of Parliament”.
MoS Parliamentary affairs, Vijay Goel told the Rajya Sabha that the government doesn’t agree with Hegde’s statement on the Constitution.
On Sunday, Hegde, speaking at an event in Karnataka, said that while they respect the word “secular”, the BJP came to power “change the constitution”.
“A few people say the Constitution mentions the word secular, so you have to agree. Because it’s there in the Constitution, we will respect it, but this will change in the near future. The Constitution has changed many times before. We are here and have come to change the Constitution. We will change it,” said Hegde, who is the Union Minister of State for Skill Development & Entrepreneurship.
Heaping scorn on “secularists”, Hegde said, “They are like people without parentage or who don’t know their bloodline. They don’t know themselves. They don’t know their parents, but they call themselves secular. If someone says I am secular, I get suspicious. I hope there are no secularists here.”