When asked if the BJP was only protecting the interests of Hindus, the Union Minister said, “Yes, of course. It is our duty.”

Polarising people is real democracy Union Minister Anantkumar Hegde interviewScreengrab
news Politics Tuesday, March 06, 2018 - 11:16

By Arun Dev

Polarising people for the right cause is real democracy says Union Minister Anant Kumar Hegde. The minister, known for his controversial and inflammatory statements, says he hopes that the 2018 Karnataka Assembly election is polarised to defeat the appeasement politics practised by the Congress party.

The Bharatiya Janata Party minister spoke about his views on Islam, the Constitution, and chances of him becoming the chief minister during the Karnataka Jana Suraksha Yatre in communally sensitive coastal Karnataka.

Video Editor: Mohd Irshad Alam

Here are some excerpts from the interview:

Is this the most polarised election so far? 

Definitely, I hope it is. It will be. 

Why do you hope for a polarised election? 

Our Hindu masses are fed up with such kind of appeasement policy. For example, a few days before they have withdrawn the cases on Muslims by saying they are innocent, but at the same time thousands of Hindu karyakartas have also been arrested. There is no word from our chief minister that they are also innocent people. If only Muslims are innocent what does that make the Hindus? 

Doesn’t polarisation defeat democracy?

It is the real democracy. Polarising people for the right cause is democracy. That is politics.

Is Hegde becoming the Hindutva face of Karnataka?

That depends. I am not here to comment on all these things, but have always chosen the right path.

Is BJP only protecting the interests of Hindus?

Yes, of course. It is our duty. History is proof that the Congress has long been ignoring our interests, Hindus’ interests.

What about your views against Islam?

We have always respected our Indian Muslims. But they are residing in India and I think we need to think twice.

Do you justify retaliatory attacks on Muslims? 

It is state-sponsored terrorism, not from innocent Muslims. The state has sponsored PFI (Popular Front of India) and various other organisations. Criminals from the PFI and other organisations are coming to Karnataka from Kerala and other states and intentionally killing our people.

Is Hegde a CM candidate? 

It is false and just imagination. Our high command has declared BS Yeddyurappa’s name and he is the real mass leader. He will become the CM and the BJP will definitely come to power.

Yeddyurappa has criticised your views.

He is most welcome to do so, elders always criticise positively.

Do you still stand by your remarks about changing the Constitution? 

I respect my Constitution and have always respected Baba Saheb Ambedkar. I also respect my entire culture and tradition. I have not said anything against that but the media unfortunately took it up. Then the Congress painted me as anti-Dalit, anti-constitutional and anti-Baba Saheb.

Republished from The Quint.

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