Union minister Anantkumar Hegde, a hardline Hindutva leader known for frequently making strong remarks against the Opposition, has again come under the scanner. This time, it is for comparing Opposition parties to "crows, monkeys, foxes and donkeys", among other animals who are uniting to take on the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the 2019 Lok Sabha election.
While addressing a gathering in Karwar in Karnataka, the BJP MP from Uttara Kannada district also linked years of Congress rule to the presence of plastic chairs at the event. "We are sitting on plastic chairs isn't it? This is due to the Congress' rule. Had we ruled for 70 years, you would have been sitting on silver chairs," he was quoted as saying by ANI.
Hegde is not the first from BJP to liken Opposition parties to animals. In April, the party's president Amit Shah, too, had used a similar jibe at a rally in Mumbai. "During a flood, all the rats, dogs, cheetah, mongoose and cats climb on board a floating log to save themselves from the flood. However they will not be safe from the Modi flood, which will sweep them away," he had said.
Hegde has courted controversy for his remarks several times in the past.
In December, Hegde mocked secular people with his remark that they are unaware of their parentage. "Those who call themselves secular without knowing about their parental blood, don't have their own identity. They don't know about their parentage, but they are intellectuals," he had said. At the same event, he made another remark about changing the Constitution, which drew the Congress' ire. Though the BJP tried to distance itself from his statement, Congress said that the saffron party was "denigrating the ideals" on which the Constitution is based.
Later, in January, protesters blocked Hegde over his remark on the Constitution, and accused him of being anti-Dalit. Speaking at a job fair event, the Minister of State for Skill Development said, “We will go ahead with our commitment and not bother about barking stray dogs,” according to The Hindu. Since the reference of stray dogs came just after the protests, Dalit groups took offence to it and staged a demonstration against Hegde, and blocked his car.
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Updated Date: Jun 29, 2018 14:08:06 IST