Cong lashes out at ministers Hegde, Ahir over remarks

The Congress, on Tuesday, attacked the BJP-led NDA government over Union Minister Anantkumar Hegde's 'we are here to change Constitution' remark, saying abusing the oath of office and denigrating the Constitution are the distinctive features of the Narendra Modi dispensation.

The party also took umbrage at Minister of State for Home Hansraj Ahir's statement against doctors who did not attend a function in which he was present, saying they should join Maoists so that they could be shot dead.

"One will change the Constitution to remove 'secular,' the other will shoot doctors. They should speak more and tell us what the real BJP is. Mob tried to disrupt an inter-faith marriage in Ghaziabad. Will the two ministers change the Constitution to ban such marriages or shoot the couple?" senior Congress leader P Chidambaram said in tweets.

At a press conference, party spokespersons Gaurav Gogoi and Khusbu Sundar said Hegde's remarks exposed the BJP's "false love" for B R Ambedkar, the father of Indian Constitution, whom they used to keep propagating to win votes.

"Hypocrite BJP, which pretends to respect Ambedkar's Constitution, is showing its true colours as it embarks on a sinister mission to alter the ethos of the Constitution," they said, asking whether Prime Minister Narendra Modi would respond to it.

"The BJP-RSS school of thought is engrained in bigotry, hate, divisiveness and prejudices that envision a monolithic culture. It is diametrically opposite to the liberal and inclusive traditions of India and the progressive thoughts of Ambedkar and the makers of modern India," they said.

Hegde, a five-time Lok Sabha MP who became a minister in the last reshuffle, waded into controversy on Monday, saying that describing oneself as secular had become a fad, that the Constitution had changed several times and would change in the future too. "We are here to change the Constitution and we'll change it," he said on the use of the word secular in the Constitution.

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