Hegde should not continue as Minister, must apologise: Azad

File Photo: Ghulam Nabi Azad

New Delhi, Dec 27 (IANS) Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad on Wednesday said Union Minister Anant Kumar Hegde “does not believe in the Constitution” and should apologise in both Houses for his “change the Constitution” remarks.

Hegde had said that the BJP has come to power to change the Constitution and will do so in the near future to remove the word secular from it.

“Whatever Anant Kumar Hegde has said while addressing his party men, the entire opposition in both the Houses has huge resentment. I am sure the resentment is across the country. It is not the concern of parliamentarians only. Every Indian should be concerned about this.

“If any Minister who has taken oath as an MP and Union Minister in the name of the Constitution, and does not believe in it, how can he or she remain a Minister,” Azad told reporters.

He said: “Here is an example of Hegde..He does not believe in the Constitution of India, he does not believe in the Preamble of Constitution.

“Should he remain in the Union Council of Ministers? So, as an opposition party, we are of the opinion that any Minister who does not believe in the Constitution, should have no place in the Council of Ministers,” Azad added.

He also said: “In the government, it is for Prime Minister (Narendra Modi) now. We have raised this issue in the House, I have raised this issue on behalf of my party, and the other opposition parties have taken up this issue with the Chairman (of Rajya Sabha Venkaiah Naidu).

“The government has asked us to give time till tomorrow (Thursday). So, we have agreed. Let the government decide. The Minister should come in both the Houses and apologise. He should also apologise to the entire Nation.

“This Constitution is applicable to each and every citizen of India irrespective of caste, religion. The Prime Minister should take the decision whether such people should continue in the government or not,” said Azad.

He said the entire Opposition is of the view, which they have expressed before the Chairman, that the Minister concerned should apologise.