Karnataka BJP MP calls for rewriting constitution; Cong slams

Karwar (Karnataka): Six years since Anantkumar Hegde said the BJP would change the Constitution to do away with the word “secular” in its preamble, the BJP MP on Sunday said that to amend the Constitution, the public must ensure two-thirds majority for the saffron party in Lok Sabha.

The BJP needs a two-thirds majority in both houses of Parliament to amend the Constitution and “set right distortions and unnecessary additions made to it by the Congress”, Hedge said, addressing a gathering here, going on to explain the numbers required to amend the preamble of the Constitution.

The party would also need to come to power in more than 20 States for this, the six-time Lok Sabha MP from Karnataka said.

“If the Constitution has to be amended — the Congress fundamentally distorted the Constitution by forcefully filling unnecessary things in it, especially by bringing in laws that were aimed at suppressing the Hindu society — if all of this has to be changed it is not possible with this (current) majority.

“If we think it can be done as Congress is not there in Lok Sabha and (Prime Minister Narendra) Modi has two-thirds majority in Lok Sabha, and keep quiet, it is not possible,” he said, as he stressed on the BJP’s need to have two-thirds majority in Lok Sabha, Rajya Sabha and also win two-thirds of the States, to bring changes in the Constitution.

“Modi said — Ab ki baar 400 paar (This time it will be above 400 seats) — Why above 400? We have two-thirds majority in Lok Sabha, (but) in Rajya Sabha we don’t have two-thirds majority. We have a small majority. In state governments, we don’t have an adequate majority,” Hegde said.

Hegde said NDA winning more than 400 seats in the upcoming Lok Sabha polls would eventually help in mustering a similar majority in the Rajya Sabha, and coming to power in two-third of the states.

Pointing out that in the recent Rajya Sabha polls held in Karnataka, three seats were won by the Congress, while BJP got only one, the MP said that if Congress’s number increases, any Constitutional amendment made by the BJP government would not get passed in the Rajya Sabha.

Citing the example of the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, he said that it was passed in the Lok Sabha and later in the Rajya Sabha “with effort”.

But several state governments did not approve it, and hence it could not be implemented, he pointed out.

“Now government plans to implement it (CAA) through an amendment.

If not, the law and order will go out of hands and anti-nationals will have a free run,” Hegde said, without explaining who the “anti-nationals” are.

“If we win more than 400 Lok Sabha seats, we can win the assembly seats. Because of this more than 20 states will come to us, and we will have two-thirds majority among the state governments. With two-thirds majority in Lok Sabha, Rajya Sabha and among state governments — once this happens — then see how it will be,” he said.

In 2017, Hegde, the then Union Minister of State for Skill Development, had courted controversy for his comments regarding changing the Constitution.

Seeking to end the controversy that had stalled parliamentary proceedings at the time, Hegde had subsequently tendered an apology in the Lok Sabha after a nudge by the Speaker, but maintained that his statement had been distorted.

Meanwhile,the Congress accused the BJP and the RSS of having a “hidden and devious” agenda of “re-writing and destroying” the Constitution while claiming that its MP Anantkumar Hegde has said the party needs 400 seats to “change the Indian Constitution”.

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi claimed the BJP MP’s reported remark was a public declaration of the “hidden intentions” of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and their “Sangh Parivar”.

Party chief Mallikarjun Kharge said the BJP MP’s statement “yet again exposes Modi-RSS’ devious agenda to impose dictatorship”.

“The Modi Government, BJP and RSS secretly desire to impose a dictatorship, whereby they will impose their ‘Manuvaadi mindset’ on the people of India and snatch away the rights of SCs, STs and OBCs,” he said in a post on X.

He alleged that such repeated calls by the BJP-RSS, from time to time were a “direct assault” on the “unquestionable ethos of sovereign, socialist, secular, democratic espoused by our Constitution makers”.

“Justice, Equality, and Liberty are the strong pillars of the Constitution and any change in these principles would be an insult to the India envisioned by Babasaheb Dr Ambedkar and our revered founders,” the Congress chief said.

“It is the solemn responsibility of every Indian to protect our democracy and the Constitution,” he said on X using the hashtag “Samvidhan Bachao BJP Hatao”.