Opposition leaders at the centre brought the winter session of the parliament to a standstill and demanded that Hegde apologise or be sacked.

BJP Dalit leaders under pressure to get Hegde to apologise for Constitution remarks
news Controversy Thursday, December 28, 2017 - 09:19

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.

He was criticisng Hegde’s remarks about amending the Constitution and asked Dalit leaders in the BJP including. Ramesh Jigajinagi, a Dalit MP and Central Minister from Vijayapura, to act against Hegde if they care for Ambedkar.

“We will give only 10 days, after which we will hold an agitation against Jigajinagi,” he said as per The Hindu.

Opposition leaders criticized Central Minister Anantkumar Hegde’s remarks about amending the Constitution and asked the BJP leader to apologise or be sacked.

Several opposition leaders brought the ongoing winter session of the parliament to a stand-still in the wake of Hegde’s comments.

“Opposition parties are of the opinion that any minister who does not believe in the Constitution should have no place in the council of ministers. It is for the prime minister to take a call on him. Either Hegde should apologise in both Houses and to the nation or the prime minister should take a decision on whether such people should continue," Congress leader Gulam Nabi Azad said, as per Times of India.

BJP leaders meanwhile distanced themselves from Hegde’s comments. "The Government does not subscribe to views expressed by Hegde," union minister Vijay Goel told the Rajya Sabha, the upper house of parliament.

Outside parliament, Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said, "The government has already said it is not on the same page with Hedge. Only five days are left now in the session. I hope Opposition will come on board now,” as reported by NDTV. 

The Lok Sabha was adjourned for nearly an hour after opposition leaders created a ruckus in parliament over Hegde’s remarks. They gathered around Chairman Venkaiah Naidu’s chair and chanted slogans of “Baba Saheb ka yeh apmaan nahin chalega”, accusing Hegde of insulting BR Ambedkar, the architect of the Constitution.

The leaders were responding to comments made by Anantkumar Hegde,  Minister of State for Skill Development and Entrepreneurship, at a function in Koppal on Sunday. Hegde remarked that elected leaders would go to any lengths in changing the Constitution. “Those claiming to be secular and progressive do not have an identity of their parents and their blood. One will get self-respect through such identity. I will be happy if someone identifies as Muslim, Christian, Brahmin, Lingayat or Hindu. But trouble will arise if they say they are secular,” he had said.

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