Hours after he said that “hands that touched Hindu girls” should be eliminated, Union Minister for Skill Development Ananth Kumar hit a new low while addressing a Congress leader as “a guy who ran behind a Muslim lady”.
The fresh communal remark, this time against Karnataka Congress president Dinesh Gundu Rao, came after the latter condemned Hegde’s provocative statement and questioned him about his achievements as a minister.
Responding to Rao, Hegde chose to drag his marriage to a Muslim woman into the public discourse.
The Congress leader also answered back, calling it Hegde’s “lack of culture” and asked him “to try and become a more dignified human”.
Sad to see @AnantkumarH stoop to such low levels as to bring in personal issues.
Guess it’s his lack of culture.
Guess he hasn’t learnt from our Hindu scriptures.
Time hasn’t run out, he can still try and become a more dignified human. https://t.co/AaX5OuUAVb
— Dinesh Gundu Rao (@dineshgrao) January 28, 2019
Hegde had fuelled a controversy yesterday while addressing a meeting of Hindu Jagaran Vedike – a youth organisation of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad — where he said, “If a hand has touched a Hindu girl, then that hand must not exist.”
Known for his inflammatory statements, Hegde had further said that Hindu youths should not become sacrificial lambs, but be dominant like tigers and elephants.
Responding to the Union minister’s remarks, Dinesh Gundu Rao questioned Hegde’s achievements as a minister. “It is deplorable that such people have become ministers and get elected as MPs,” Rao said on social media.
The criticism did not go down well with Hegde, who responded by saying, “I shall definitely answer this guy @dineshgrao’s queries, before which could he please reveal himself as to who he is along with his achievements? I only know him as a guy who ran behind a Muslim lady.”
I shall definitely answer this guy @dineshgrao‘s queries, before which could he please reveal himself as to who he is along with his achievements?
I only know him as a guy who ran behind a Muslim lady. https://t.co/8hVJ2wQXMU
— Anantkumar Hegde (@AnantkumarH) January 27, 2019
Reacting to the statement, Tabu Gundu Rao, Dinesh Gundu Rao’s wife said, “First, he never ran away with me, it is a sanctimonious marriage. To drag me into it is getting way below the belt and pathetic. There is a line that leaders need to draw. They should mind their language. I want to state that I am not a political person, I am a housewife. Why do you want to use me to polarise elections? At least you should redeem his chair.”
Hegde is not new to such controversies. In 2018, at an event of the skill development ministry, Hegde repeated a claim that an Indian flew the first aircraft long before the Wright brothers did in the early 1900s. Hegde said an aircraft created by Shivakar Talpade flew in Mumbai in 1895.
In December 2017, Hegde triggered a furore by saying that those who call themselves secular and intellectual were lacking an identity of their own. “Those who, without knowing their parental blood, call themselves secular, they don’t have an identity. They don’t know their parentage, but they are intellectuals,” the five-time BJP MP said. He also said that the BJP would remove the word secular from the Constitution but later apologised for his remark in Parliament.