Bengaluru: BJP leader, former Union minister and current Member of Parliament, Anantkumar Hegde, known for his loudmouth, has once again courted controversy by branding BSNL employees ‘traitors’ who would be fired as they refused to work.
The MP from Uttara Kannada made the controversial remark on Monday at an event in Kumta. The video of what he said surfaced today.
"I had scolded them (BSNL employees) during a meeting in Karwar the other day. You are not officials, you are traitors. The government has given money, it is a service needed for the public and there is infrastructure but still they are not ready to work," Hegde said.
The MP added that BSNL need an urgent and 'major surgery' and that 85,000 employees will be retired. He went on to say that BSNL is a blot on the country and that it will be 'finished' and replaced by private establishments.
Soon after the video went viral, Srivatsa, National Campaign In-charge, Youth Congress tweeted: "BJP MP Anant Kumar Hegde calls BSNL employees as anti-national. He announced that it will be privatised soon! Mr. Hegde, your leader Modi has not allocated 4G spectrum to BSNL so that Jio benefits For Ambani, you killed BSNL. You are the actual 'Desh Drohis'."
Earlier this year, he had embarrassed the BJP and Prime Minister Narendra Modi when he termed the freedom movement led by Mahatma Gandhi as 'a drama'. He also declared that the Constitution will be amended to remove the word 'secular' from the preamble. He later apologised for the comments.
In March 2016, Hegde was booked for a hate speech in which he allegedly equated Islam with terrorism. In April 2020, Twitter placed restrictions on his official account for a controversial statement against the Tablighi Jamaat.