THE CITIZEN BUREAU | 27 DECEMBER, 2017
Opposition in Parliament: Sack Minister Hegde
No room for bigotry, hate, divisiveness
NEW DELHI: Parliament was repeatedly adjourned, as the Opposition in both Houses demanded the sacking of Union Minister of State for Skill Development and Entrepreneurship Anantkumar Hegde who had claimed that the BJP would “soon change the Constitution.” Minister Vijay Goel stood up in the Rajya Sabha to state that the government disassociated itself from Hegde’s views.
This did not placate the Opposition that wanted disciplinary action against Hegde who had argued with the word secular, describing ‘secularists’ as persons without parentage, in other words bastards.
Rajya Sabha MPs said that a person who did not believe in the Constitution of India had no right to be a member of Parliament. And should be sacked. “"Baba Saheb ka yeh apmaan nahin chalega (this insult of Babasaheb will not do)” slogans were raised in the well of the House. However, there was no response from the government to this demand.
Hegde has been a five term MP from Karnataka. The local BJP also distanced itself from his statement made at a public meeting with a party spokesperson maintaining, "The party (BJP) doesn't want to get involved with what Hegde has said. What he spoke about is not an issue for us.”
Hegde is from the RSS and was clearly following RSS Chief Mohan Bhagwat who, in September this year, introduced the possibility of changes in the Constitution albeit in words that were not so direct and provocative as used by the Minister. “Our Constitution was written based on the understanding of the 'Bharatiya' ethos of our founding fathers, but many of the laws that we are still using are based on foreign sources and were made as per their thinking. Seven decades have passed since our independence... this is something we must address," Bhagwat was reported as saying in the media. He was speaking at a public function in Hyderabad.
And against two weeks later, the RSS chief repeated the need to change the Constitution but this time limited it to Jammu and Kashmir. He said at a Dussehra function, "Necessary constitutional amendments will have to be made and old provisions will have to be changed in that state. Only when the constitutional amendments are done, can the residents of J&K be completely assimilated with the rest of India.”
Hegde, who will be a chief campaigner for the party in the forthcoming Assembly polls said, that the Constitution will be changed in days to come adding, “we are here for that and that is why we have come.”
The Opposition saw in these remarks a “direct assault” on India and her Constitution. The Congress said that it will oppose any such effort with all its might And attacked the BJP-RSS for "bigotry, hate, divisiveness and prejudices, that envision a monolithic culture."