The Minister of State for Skill Development had earlier said that “a new tradition was in vogue", where people projected themselves as secular.

Anantkumar Hegde apologises for statement against secularism Ambedkar
news Politics Thursday, December 28, 2017 - 12:36

The controversial statements made by Minister of State Anantkumar Hegde created a furore in the Parliament on Thursday, and the minister was forced to tender an apology in the Lok Sabha.

In a typical “I regret” statement, Anantkumar Hegde said, “Regarding the statements that have been misrepresented here… I haven’t said anything of the sort. If it has hurt anyone, I have no objection in apologising to the Honourable members."

The Minister of State for Skill Development had earlier said that “a new tradition was in vogue", where people projected themselves as secular. He said he would welcome it if someone “claims with pride that he is a Muslim, or a Christian, or a Lingayat, or a Brahmin, or a Hindu.”

“I feel happy because the person then knows about his blood, but I don't know what to call those who claim themselves secular. 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," he had said.

On Thursday, there was massive uproar in the Parliament over these words. Opposition parties demanded an apology from Anantkumar, and several Congress leaders led by All India Congress Committee President, Rahul Gandhi, protested outside the Parliament near the Gandhi statue and demanded that Anantkumar be ousted from the House.

Amidst this uproar, Ananthkumar Hedge clarified on his remarks against secularism, the Constitution, Parliament and Babasaheb Ambedkar.

“As for Babasaheb (BR Ambedkar)… there is no doubt that my faith in the Constitution is any less; it is paramount (document) for me… and so is the Parliament. There is no need to put a question mark on it. As a citizen, I can never go against the Constitution. That’s all I can say,” MoS Anantkumar Hegde said.

Angered by Hegde’s statement, Leader of Opposition in the Lok Sabha, Mallikarjun Kharge objected to the clarification. “What he has said now, he has minimised the statements he made earlier. He has said, that the Constitution is made on the ideology of Ambedkar…”

To this, Anantkumar said, “If anyone has been hurt because of it, I don’t have a problem in apologising in front of the House.”

 

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