The country may have celebrated India’s second Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, cutting across party lines. But not everyone is happy with all the Ministers inducted on Sunday.
Doctors across the country are up in arms against the new Minister of State for Skill Development and Entrepreneurship from Karnataka, Anant Kumar Hegde. The Indian Medical Association has even gone so far as to write to Prime Minister demanding that Anant Kumar be dropped from the cabinet immediately, reported India Today.
Anant Hegde’s induction into the Union Cabinet came as a surprise to many, as he had been caught on camera assaulting doctors at the Totagarara Seva Samiti Hospital in Sirsi just a few months ago. The MP was angered at what he said was negligent care of his mother, and was seen harshly abusing doctors and manhandling them.
After the video circulated in the media, Anant Hegde was booked under Section 4 of the Karnataka Prohibition of Violence against Medicare Service Personnel and Damage to Property in Medicare Service Institutions Act, and under IPC Sections 323 (voluntarily causing hurt), 341 (wrongful restraint), 504 (intentional insult to provoke breach of peace), and 506 (criminal intimidation) of the IPC.
In the letter, the IMA has said that Anant Hegde’s appointment clearly sends out a very wrong message.
“Instead of taking action or conducting a probe, he has been inducted into the cabinet. Making him Skill Development Minister has sent another wrong message. Is indulging in violence the ‘new skill’ to be taught to entrepreneurs?” the letter from the IMA was quoted as asking.
Anant Hegde’s induction has been opposed not only for that case of assault, but also for his polarising statements in the past. In 2016, the Uttara Kannada MP had equated Islam with terrorism, saying in a news conference, “as long as Islam is there in this world, there will be terrorism.”