Anantkumar Hegde is back in the news. In a predictable way, that is. First, the Union minister of state for skill development and entrepreneurship sparked outrage with comments at a public function in his home state Karnataka: “If a Hindu girl is touched by a hand, then that hand should not exist.” Next, his Twitter exchange with Karnataka Congress’s working president Dinesh Gundu Rao attracted more indignation.
Polarising comments, to be sure, are par-for-the-course in election season. But Hegde’s proclivity for them has raked up controversies in the past. Most notably, in December 2017, when he had to apologise in the Lok Sabha for his remarks—made at a public rally in Karnataka—about changing the Constitution. “As a citizen, I cannot think of violating the Constitution,” he said in his apology.
Earlier this week, following the Twitter volley with Rao, the Congressman’s wife, Tabassum, put out a plea, asking Hegde not to drag their personal life into a political slugfest.
I shall definitely answer this guy @dineshgrao's queries, before which could he please reveal himself as to who he is along with his achievements?— Anantkumar Hegde (@AnantkumarH) January 27, 2019
I only know him as a guy who ran behind a Muslim lady. https://t.co/8hVJ2wQXMU
Hegde, 50, is a five-time parliamentarian from the coastal district of Uttara Kannada—he wrested the seat in 1996 from Congress veteran...