RS Chairman names Congress member amidst protests over Hegde remarks

Uproar by Congress TRS members force third adjournment of Lok Sabha

"As a citizen, I can not think of violating the Constitution", he said.

Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge, however, objected to Hegde's clarification and said that he had spoken against Ambedkar.

In Rajya Sabha, Leader of the House Arun Jaitley said Modi in his statements and speeches, "did not question nor did he mean to question the commitment to this nation either by Dr Manmohan Singh, the former Prime Minister, or Hamid Ansari, the former vice president".

"When the Parliamentary Affairs Minister says that the government does not agree with (what Minister Hegde said), the matter ends there", Naidu told the protesting members, urging them to go back to their seats before adjourning the House till 2 p.m. Sukhendu Sekhar Roy (TMC) said secularism is inscribed in the preamble of the Constitution and asked if a minister is allowed to denounce the same preamble in public. "Sometimes in life, we feel what we have said is right, but others may still get hurt", she said.

Mr. Hegde then said if anyone was hurt by his remarks, he had no hesitation in tendering his apology.

At a function in Karnataka on Sunday, Hegde had reportedly said people should identify themselves by their religion 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". We will respect the Constitution, but the Constitution has changed several times and it will change in the future too. "We have come to power for that", Hegde was reported as saying. The second adjournment was made till 2 p.m. minutes after it met at noon as despite the government disowning Hegde's comments the din continued.

"Today, it is distressing to see the Constitution, the foundation of our country, under threat".

Not convinced by the statement, the Congress members lodged their protests and demanded an apology from the minister.

The opposition sought Hegde's removal from the Council of Ministers and Parliament, saying he had insulted the Constitution of India as well as its architect Ambedkar. Naresh Agarwal (SP) said the Constitution is the Ramayana and Gita of democracy and any minister who abuses it and its founder Baba Saheb Ambedkar should be removed.

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