Taking potshots at Rahul Gandhi, Union Minister Anant Kumar Hegde on Wednesday said "kota (fake) hindutvavadis" are taking birth and people would get "good entertainment" with the Congress president's state tours.
"The number of times Rahul Gandhi goes around in Karnataka, it is good (to that extent) because people of Karnataka will get good entertainment. Along with that, it will create an opportunity for Karnataka BJP to become stronger," he told reporters at Sirsi in Uttara Kannada district.
"People of Karnataka expect more entertaining programmes," the BJP leader said. He said "kota hindutvavadis are taking birth today. I really feel happy that at a time when nationalism was being forgotten; whether it is kota nationalism....Siddaramaiah and Rahul Gandhi have at least started remembering that they are Hindus," Hegde said.
"Just speaking about Hindutva or nationalism is not enough, bring it into practice and only then will you respect that blood," he further said. Hegde's jibe at Gandhi comes in the backdrop of his temple run that was seen during the recent Gujarat assembly polls and his visit to religious places during his just concluded state tour.
Gandhi had on Tuesday concluded his four-day tour in north Karnataka districts in the first leg of his campaign in the poll-bound state, during which he visited temples, mutts and Dargahs. The Congress President will begin his second phase of tour in the state from February 24.
No stranger to controversies, Hegde had earlier kicked up a row for reportedly linking Islam with terrorism and recently, for his views on changing the Constitution, inviting a sharp attack from the Congress. After a furore over his remark on changing the Constitution, Hegde had tendered an apology in Parliament "If someone is hurt" but had maintained that his comments were misinterpreted.
|Karnataka Assembly Election dates|
|Date of notification||April 17|
|Last date to file nominations||April 24|
|Last date to withdraw nominations||April 27|
|Date of polling||May 12|
|Date of counting||May 15|