“This man is an embarrassment to every Indian. He's unfit to be a Union Minister and deserves to be sacked,” tweeted Congress President Rahul Gandhi on Monday while tagging a report that quoted Union Minister of State for Skill Development Ananth Hegde as saying “hands that touched Hindu girls” should be removed.
The Union Minister had followed this up with a tasteless tweet in which he claimed to know of Karnataka Congress President Dinesh Gundu Rao as “a guy who ran behind a Muslim lady”.
The remark against Karnataka Congress president Dinesh Gundu Rao, came after Rao condemned Hegde’s statement on hands touching Hindu women and wondered what Hegde’s achievements were as minister.
Union Minister also claimed that Charminar in Hyderabad and Taj Mahal in Agra was not built by Muslims or Mughals. “The Charminar (in Hyderabad) was not built by Muslims. It was built during the time of Jains. And Shah Jahan (Mughal emperor) purchased Tejo Mahal from King Jayasimha and later it became Taj Mahal.”
On the possibility of women who entered Sabarimala having stayed in Kodagu, he said, “henceforth, if such people enter Kodagu, kill them. Communists are the biggest termites.”
The controversial minister in 2017 had hogged headlines by claiming that BJP had come to power to change the Constitution of India. "Some people say the Constitution says secular and you must accept it. We will respect the Constitution, but the Constitution has changed several times and it will change in the future too. We are here to change the Constitution and we'll change it," he was then quoted as saying.
A case had also been registered against him for allegedly abusing former chief minister Siddaramaiah at Kittur in Belagavi district. Soon after he was appointed a minister CCTV footage of Mr Hegde slapping a doctor had also become viral. He was seen grabbing the doctor by the throat and slamming him against a wall.
On Sunday in Kodagu, Hegde said during a programme that, “if boys from other religions touch our Hindu girls, Hindu boys must break their hands and get ready to create history.”
Responding to the Union minister’s remarks, Dinesh Gundu Rao questioned Hegde’s achievements as a minister. “What are your achievements after becoming a Union Minister or as MP? What are your contributions for Karnataka’s development? All I can say for sure, it’s deplorable that such people have become ministers & have managed to get elected as MP’s,” Gundu wrote on Twitter
The Union Minister responded by saying, “I shall definitely answer this guy Dinesh Gundu Rao queries, before which could he please reveal himself as to who he is along with his achievements? I only know him as a guy who ran behind a Muslim lady.”
Hegde was speaking after laying the foundation stone for the renovation of a temple at Madapur in Somwarpet taluk, Kodagu. The programme was hosted by Hindu Jagarana Vedike.