Constitution 'paramount', Hegde clarifies after controversial remark

Thursday, 18 Jan, 2018

Hegde had asking people to identify themselves by their religion and caste rather than being secular and said that the Constitution too would change in accordance with such thinking. We know our language and culture.

"Seculars do not know what their blood is".

Speaking to Newsclick, activist Teesta Setalvad said, "As a student of history and contemporary politics, I have always maintained that the government in power at the Centre and in 19 states is one of the RSS". "The Government does not subscribe to views expressed by Hegde", union minister Vijay Goel told the Rajya Sabha.

Ahead of the Winter Session proceedings, Hegde also said that the 'Constitution is supreme to me'. Shelke said Hegde should immediately resign as through his statement he has cast aspersion of the Constitution.

According to The News Minute, Hegde drew flak from all quarters for his comments including from opposition leaders and groups of progressive thinkers in varied parts of Karnataka.

"Hegde has clarified in Lok Sabha that his remarks were twisted and he respects Baba Saheb Ambedkar". We are committed to it and secularism.

"We are here for that and that is why we have come". "If you don't want the government to say something, then let it go", she said, adding that she would not allow them as they were standing in the Well.

The trouble started when the papers were being laid as opposition members shouted "shame, shame" when Hegde, who is Minister of State for Skill Development and Entrepreneurship, rose to lay the papers listed against his name.

Addressing protestors, Block Congress president Sathish Amin Padukere said, "BJP party members themselves are involved in Danamma rape and murder case and hence they are silent regarding the same". Their objection was that Hedge had taken oath of office as per Indian Constitution and he has no business talking about changing it.

Hegde apologised after Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan urged him to apologise if he had offended anyone with his comments.

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

There was no word yet on the BJP pulling up its minister or distancing itself from his remarks.

The demand to adjourn the House was made by RSP MP N K Premachandran when Finance Minister Arun Jaitley introduced the Goods and Services Tax (Compensation to States) Amendment Bill.

TRS members, demanding a separate high court for Telangana, trooped into the Well.

Members also protested against the treatment given to the family of Kulbhushan Jadhav in Pakistan.

Dalit leader Adiveppa Salgal has asked fellow Dalit leaders in the BJP to either get Central Minister Anantkumar Hegde to apologise or quit the BJP in the next ten days.