BENGALURU: Union Minister Anantkumar Hegde has landed in another controversy after actor Prakash Raj tweeted a video of a hate speech he reportedly made almost two years ago.
The video, reportedly from March, 2016, shows Mr Hegde saying, “As long as there is Islam in the world, there will be terrorism. Until we uproot Islam, we can’t remove terrorism.”
Mr Hegde, who is a BJP leader from Karnataka, also said, “If there is opportunity in the media – write exactly this. Telecast exactly this. Islam is a bomb for world peace. There will be no peace in the world as long as Islam is there.” The five-time parliamentarian was not a minister then.
Sharing the video on Twitter, Prakash Raj said, “This minister says ..”Islam should be wiped out in this world” ..so when he talks of HINDUTVA does he mean it’s a way of life…#justasking.” The actor, who has been critical of the BJP over a range of issues recently, also said, “Who are you guys…Are you guys reincarnation of Germans HITLER (sic).”
49-year-old Anantkumar Hegde, Minister of State for Skill Development and Entrepreneurship, is no stranger to controversy. Earlier this week a case was registered against him for allegedly abusing Chief Minister Siddaramaiah of the Congress in a speech in Kittur of Belagavi district recently.
A local Congress leader in Mysuru filed the police complaint alleging that Mr Hegde had said the chief minister would “lick boots for vote and seat.”
Soon after he was appointed minister in this year’s cabinet reshuffle by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, CCTV footage of Mr Hegde slapping a doctor was widely circulated.
The five-time parliamentarian was seen striking the doctor, grabbing him by the throat and slamming him against a wall. He was apparently furious because he felt the doctors were not paying enough attention to his mother, who had suffered multiple fractures after a fall at home.
Mr Hegde’s elevation as a central minister in the September reshuffle was seen to be part of the BJP’s strategy to increase representation in the cabinet, of states where elections will be held soon.
The BJP hopes to return to power in Karnataka, due for assembly elections in 2018