Hegde’s ‘apology’ after Speaker’s nudge

NEW DELHI: Union Minister Anantkumar Hegde on Thursday said if someone was hurt by his remarks about changing the Constitution and about secularism, he had no hesitation in tendering his apology. He, however, said his statement had been presented in a distorted manner.

Soon after the Lok Sabha proceedings started, Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge raised the issue, at which Speaker Sumitra Mahajan said the minister would give a statement.

Stating that he held the country, the Constitution and its architect B. R. Ambedkar in high esteem, Mr. Hegde said there was no question of showing disrespect to them. “As a citizen, I cannot think of violating the Constitution,” he said.

Not convinced by the statement, the Congress members lodged their protests and demanded an apology from the minister.

The Speaker then intervened and told Mr. Hegde that there was no question of anyone showing disrespect to Dr. Ambedkar. She said the stature of a person would, however, not be lowered if he tendered an apology for a statement that hurt anyone.

Mr. Hegde then said if anyone was hurt by his remarks, he had no hesitation in tendering his apology. He said his speech was presented in a distorted manner, which was not correct.

Agitated over the controversial remarks of Mr. Hegde, the Opposition had forced repeated adjournments in both houses of Parliament on Wednesday.

On Sunday, at a public function in Karnataka, Mr. Hegde had said: “The Constitution needs to be changed from time to time and we have come for that…those claiming to be secular and progressive do not have an identity of their parents and their blood. One will get self-respect through such identity.”

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Printable version | May 28, 2020 6:53:58 PM |

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