The Congress mounted an attack on Union Minister Anantkumar Hegde even as the outspoken BJP leader found support in a right-wing Hindu outfit over his statements that courted controversy. A late Sunday night tweet by Hegde where he said that the hands of those touching Hindu girls should be chopped, provided the ammunition for the Congress’ attack.
When Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) president Dinesh Gundu Rao tweeted demanding to know what Hegde’s achievement was as 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,” Tabu stated, terming Hegde’s remarks as “misogynistic and provocative”. Congress president Rahul Gandhi wrote in a tweet that Hedge was “an embarrassment” to every Indian.
“He’s unfit to be a Union minister and deserves to be sacked.” The Hindu Jagarana Vedike, which organised the event in Kodagu where Hegde spoke, said in a statement that he was “deliberately” misquoted.