×
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT

Lok Sabha Elections 2024 | How Anantkumar Hegde’s remarks on Constitution helped Opposition

Hegde, a firebrand Hindutva face of the BJP in Karnataka, first spoke of changing the Constitution in 2017 when he was a union minister in the first Narendra Modi government.
Last Updated : 05 June 2024, 02:54 IST
Last Updated : 05 June 2024, 02:54 IST

Follow Us :

Comments

Massive gains for the SP-Congress alliance in Uttar Pradesh is being seen as a fallout of one BJP leader’s statement that became an edifice for the Opposition INDIA bloc’s campaign across the country. 

Former Uttara Kannada MP Anantkumar Hegde’s repeated claim that the BJP would change the Constitution was picked up by the Opposition to weave a narrative that the saffron party would eventually use its brute majority in Parliament to end reservation. 

That the claim came from an upper caste Havyaka Brahmin did not help the BJP as top saffron leaders, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah, had to deny this again and again. 

However, the Congress and the INDIA bloc kept hitting the BJP on the back of Hegde’s claim. 

In 2019, BJP had won all seven SC/ST constituencies in Karnataka. This time, however, the NDA could retain only Bijapur, Chitradurga, and Kolar through the JD(S). The Congress wrested Bellary, Chamarajanagar, Gulbarga and Raichur. 

In fact, the Congress has won all five Lok Sabha segments in the Kalyana Karnataka region, which is known to have a good number of SC/ST voters. 

Even in Uttar Pradesh, where the BJP faced shocking results, Hegde’s comments made noise. 

Hegde, a firebrand Hindutva face of the BJP in Karnataka, first spoke of changing the Constitution in 2017 when he was a union minister in the first Narendra Modi government. “We are here to change the Constitution,” he had said. After outrage, Hegde tendered an apology in Lok Sabha.

Seven years later, in March this year, just before the Lok Sabha polls were announced, Hegde, a six-time MP, did it again. This time, he sought a two-thirds majority for the BJP to “amend” the Constitution, which he said the Congress had distorted. Hegde was denied the ticket. But before the BJP even knew it, several of its Lok Sabha candidates in various parts of India started repeating Hegde’s claim. This included sitting BJP Ayodhya MP Lallu Singh, who lost. 

It was only after the third phase of polling - the BJP had realised the problem - that the likes of Modi and Shah did damage control. 

“The ‘400 paar’ call was a clear direction the BJP was following to change the Constitution. And, with so many BJP candidates voicing it, the BJP didn’t take action until it was too late,” IT/BT Minister Priyank Kharge, who managed the Congress’ election in his father, AICC president Mallikarjun Kharge’s Gulbarga constituency, said.  

ADVERTISEMENT
Published 05 June 2024, 02:54 IST

Follow us on :

Follow Us

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT