New Delhi: Opposition uproar seeking the sacking of Union minister Ananthkumar Hegde for his controversial statements on secularism and changing the Constitution today led to the adjournment of the Lok Sabha proceedings for about 50 minutes soon after it assembled for the day.
While Congress members trooped into the Well raising slogans demanding removal of Hegde from the Council of Ministers, members of the TRS also joined them with placards demanding a separate high court for Telengana.
As soon as the House met for the day, some Shiv Sena members raised slogans against Pakistan, apparently over the treatment of the family members of Indian national Kulbhushan Jadhav, imprisoned there. Some BJP members also joined them in raising slogans like ‘Pakistan murdabad’ (down with Pakistan).
Leader of Congress in the Lok Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge raised the issue of remarks by Hegde, following which his party members rushed to the Well raising slogans such as ‘Ambedkar ka apman nahin chalega’ (We will not tolerate the insult of B R Ambedkar — one of the key framers of the Constitution). They also demanded “removal” of the minister apparently from the Council of Ministers.
At a function in Karnataka on Sunday, Hegde, the Minister of State for Skill Development, had reportedly said people should identify themselves by their religions and “those who, without knowing about their parental blood, call themselves secular, they don’t have their own identity…They don’t know about their parentage.” He had also said “we are here to change the Constitution and we’ll change it.”
Prime Minister Narendra Modi was not present in the House as he is away in Himachal Pradesh attending the oath ceremony of Jairam Thakur as the Chief Minister.
He is usually present in the House on Wednesday as questions related to the Prime Minister’s Office are listed on this day during Question Hour.
Amid the din, Speaker Sumitra Mahajan adjourned the House till noon.