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regular-article-logo Sunday, 19 May 2024

'Save the Constitution' on Congress poll agenda after BJP MP Anant Kumar Hegde seeks amendments

'We don’t have enough majority among state governments. The Congress had fundamentally distorted the Constitution by forcefully bringing unnecessary amendments, specifically to suppress Hindu society. This (existing) majority is not enough if all of this has to be changed', the MP said

K.M. Rakesh Bangalore Published 12.03.24, 09:13 AM
Anant Kumar Hegde

Anant Kumar Hegde File picture

The Congress is set to use “Save the Constitution” as one of its key poll planks after a senior BJP leader urged voters to give a two-thirds majority to his party to enable the next government to “amend” the Constitution.

The Karnataka government has already launched several initiatives to generate better awareness about the Constitution and its importance for social justice and democracy. Uttara Kannada BJP MP Anant Kumar Hegde’s take on the importance of a two-thirds majority in both Houses of Parliament has added fuel to the Congress campaign.

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The controversial BJP leader, a former Union minister, kicked up a row with his statement putting his party under the lens.

“(Prime Minister Narendra) Modi had said ‘Ab Ki Baar 400 Paar’ — that this time we should win more than 400 seats. Why? Why 400? We have a majority in the Lok Sabha… two-thirds majority. But we don’t have a two-thirds majority in the Rajya Sabha,” he said at a party meeting in Karwar on Saturday.

“We don’t have enough majority among state governments. The Congress had fundamentally distorted the Constitution by forcefully bringing unnecessary amendments, specifically to suppress Hindu society. This (existing) majority is not enough if all of this has to be changed.”

“We need a two-thirds majority in the Lok Sabha, Rajya Sabha and among the state governments,” Hegde went on to explain.

The ruling Congress, led by Karnataka chief minister Siddaramaiah, came out all guns blazing and saw it as a clear sign of the consequences of giving the BJP yet another mandate.

Siddaramaiah alleged that Hegde’s statement “exposed the ulterior motives of the BJP to replace Baba Saheb Ambedkar’s version of the Constitution with their own,
influenced by the Manusmriti”.

“The BJP’s version would reinforce the evil practices of the caste system. The BJP will remove all reservations for OBCs and Dalits if they come to power. His statement is a direct attack on OBCs and Dalits,” the chief minister alleged.

He questioned the BJP’s take that it was Hegde’s personal opinion. “He had said the same thing when he was a Union minister. Yet Modi didn’t take any action against him.” Hegde had in December 2017 said: “We are here to change the Constitution.”

A Congress functionary, who cannot be named, said “Save our Constitution” would be a poll plank this time. “Hegde has only reinforced our fears,” he said.

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