Anantkumar Hegde’s ‘barking dogs’ remark angers Dalits

Members of Dalit organisations staging a protest during the visit of Union Minister Anantkumar Hegde in Ballari on Saturday.  

Union Minister for Skill Development and Entrepreneurship Anantkumar Hegde, known for making controversial statements, was at it again in Ballari on Saturday.

Soon after his arrival in the district, a group of Dalit activists blocked his vehicle and shouted slogans against him for his statement about changing the Constitution. They accused him of being anti-Dalit.

Later, speaking at a job fair and skill exhibition, he said: “I am very straightforward person and talk without hesitation.” He added that he was committed to his responsibility as a Minister of developing skills among youth and enabling them to stand on their own and “realising the dreams of Prime Minister Narendra Modi” of transforming the country into “skilled Bharat”. “We will go ahead with our commitment and not bother about barking stray dogs,” he said.

The reference to stray dogs, coming soon after the protests against him, sparked off anger among Dalit groups. After the programme, they staged a demonstration and, waving black scarves, shouted slogans against Mr. Hegde. Some persons were taken into custody by the police when they tried to block the Minister’s convoy.

The Minister did not step out of his vehicle amid the commotion even as BJP MP Sriramulu came out and attempted to pacify the protesters.

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Printable version | Apr 17, 2021 7:11:02 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/anantkumar-hegdes-barking-dogs-remark-angers-dalits/article22483167.ece

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