Cong slams Hegde, Hindu outfit backs him

Cong slams Hegde, Hindu outfit backs him

The Congress on Monday mounted an attack on Union Minister Anantkumar Hegde even as the firebrand BJP leader found support in a right-wing Hindu outfit over his statements that courted controversy.

A late Sunday night tweet by Hegde has provided ammunition for the Congress’ attack.

When Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) president Dinesh Gundu Rao tweeted, demanding to know what Hegde’s achievement was a Parliamentarian and minister, Hegde responded: “I shall definitely answer this guy’s 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 referring to Rao’s wife Tabassum (Tabu).

Tabu issued a statement hitting out at Hegde. “It appears I’m a soft target for certain BJP leaders who are unable to politically take on my husband. Yes, I was born a Muslim, but we are proud Indians first. I am a private person, a mother of two girls and a devout housewife. I do not hold any party or public position. I have never made any personal remarks against any BJP leader and I strongly resent them using me as a pawn in their cheap politics. If they have the courage, they should challenge my husband politically instead of hiding behind a housewife’s saree and throwing stones. Such misogynistic and provocative remarks are highly unbecoming of a union minister,” Tabu stated.

Congress leaders slammed Hegde for what they said was a “personal” attack. “Hegde is not fit to be an MP. He should apologise & resign immediately for his insensitive comments towards Rao & also for his provocative statements aimed at creating social conflicts,” Congress Legislature Party (CLP) leader Siddaramaiah said in a tweet. Siddaramaiah went on to target Prime Minister Narendra Modi. “Mr Saaf Niyat, instead of preaching about ‘Saaf Niyat, Sahi Vikas’ take appropriate action against your minister and teach him what actual ‘Sahi Vikas’ is. Social harmony, inclusive development and appropriate economic progress is the actual ‘Sahi Vikas’,” he tweeted.

The trigger for Rao seeking to know Hegde’s achievements came from what the Union minister said at an event on Sunday. Hegde reportedly said those touching Hindu girls should have their hands cut off. However, the Hindu Jagarana Vedike, which organized the event in Kodagu where Hegde spoke, said in a statement that he was “deliberately” misquoted.

“Hegde said those who lay their hands on Hindu girls should not have hands. He did not say their hand should be cut off,” the outfit said. “What is wrong in Hegde trying to press for stringent laws to deal with atrocities against women? After Nirbhaya and other such incidents happened, there were people who wanted the rapists to be hanged. Why wasn’t the demand for capital punishment misconstrued as a demand for murder?”