Anant Kumar Hegde calls writers opportunists

Transport Minister says Hegde must be sent in ‘Route No.4 bus’

Bengaluru: Union Minister for Skill Development Anant Kumar Hegde has done it again. On Tuesday, he made a controversial statement by calling writers and intellectuals “meaningless” and “opportunists” who please Government to get benefits.

This comes close on the heels of him tendering an apology in the Lok Sabha for his comments deriding secularists.

“Although he is a Minister in the Central Cabinet, he is the most irresponsible person,’’ Chief Minister Siddharamaiah said while speaking to reporters after addressing a senior Police officers’ meet yesterday.

“Even talking about him is a waste of time,’’ the CM added.

On Tuesday, while speaking at a private event in Belagavi district, Hegde had described intellectuals and progressive writers as opportunists as they speak and write to please the Government to derive benefits.

The Minister also said that neither their speeches nor their writings were understood by the common people as they were “meaningless.”

“They should keep in mind that we are not cattle to believe their writings and speeches,” he said. The Union Minister went on to describe progressive writers and intellectuals as ‘nalayaks’ (useless people) who write and speak to get sites and houses under Government quota by claiming to be progressive writers.

‘He should be sent to a mental asylum’: Congress leaders and writers took strong exception to Hegde’s comments. Transport Minister H.M. Revanna said Kannada writers have won the most number of Jnanpith awards (seven) than any other State. “What has happened to his tongue? I am a bus Minister. In my language, he should be put on Route No.4 bus,” he said. When reporters pressed him to explain what ‘Route No.4, he replied, “Mental asylum.”

All India Congress Committee (AICC) General Secretary in-Charge of Karnataka K.C. Venugopal said Hegde had apologised in the Lok Sabha for making an irresponsible statement, and now he had done it again.

“As a Union Minister, it is not right on his part to make such a statement. People of the State will teach a lesson to the  BJP leaders, who are making such irresponsible statements,’’ he said.

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