14 Mar 2019
Ananth Hegde makes controversial remarks against Rahul, EC wants video-footage
The Election Commission has reportedly sought the video footage of the gathering which Union Minister Ananth Kumar Hegde attended last week where he made demeaning remarks against Congress President Rahul Gandhi.
According to Indian Express, the poll panel took suo motu cognizance of reports which highlighted Hegde's words.
The Minister of State for Skill Development had questioned Rahul's lineage while criticizing him.
What he said
How are you a Brahmin, Hegde asked Rahul
"Can this son of a Muslim give proof that he is a Brahmin as he claims? His father is a Muslim and mother is a Christian, how did he become a Brahmin? Can he provide any proof," he reportedly asked.
Watch: A video of his statement went viral
#WATCH: Union Minister Ananth Hegde says on Rahul Gandhi, "They want proof of surgical strikes even when whole world acknowledged it. This Muslim who calls himself a 'janeudhari Hindu', son of a Muslim father a Christian mother, does he have proof that he is a Hindu"? (10.3.19) pic.twitter.com/FWXFky5jXH— ANI (@ANI) March 11, 2019
Hegde made problematic remarks against Rahul earlier as well
This is not the first time Hegde passed controversial comments. In January, he called Rahul a "hybrid specimen" who couldn't be found anywhere in the world.
"You'll find such specimen in Congress laboratory in this country, where the father and the son are of two different types," he said.
And once he opined that any hand which "touched a Hindu girl" should be cut.
Karnataka Congress complained against Hegde, demanded punishment
Hegde's latest remarks led to a row with Congress' Karnataka's unit writing to the EC.
Dinesh Gundu Rao, the president of KPCC, in his complaint said that Hegde's remarks violated the privacy of an individual.
"It (Hegde's remarks) amounts to an offense under Section 153A and Section 295A of IPC and Section 125 of the Representation of People Act," the complaint read.
Model Code of Conduct kicked in on March 10
Notably, Election Commission made the poll dates' announcement on Sunday, March 10, and the Model Code of Conduct (MCC), kicked in immediately.
The MCC underlines that political leaders can't pass personal comments on their competitors. The conduct asks them to limit their disdain to the professional performance of their opponents.
CEC Sunil Arora had said violations of MCC will be taken "very seriously".
Will EC initiate action against Hegde?
However, the challenge before EC, in this case, is the timing. Hegde made the remarks on Rahul, a day before MCC kicked in. It is left to be seen if EC takes action against the MP for violating MCC or lets him go.