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PM Modi's Cabinet reshuffle: Know your 'Naye Mantri Mahoday'
We were the witness today of a major mile stone saturnalia before the 2019 Lok Sabha polls. So far nothing seemed to be moving forward except the cascade of prices, slogans and promises.

The card of Hindutva is still a winner but for how long? The wheels of trains are unexpectedly moving off the track at regular intervals accompanied with macabre scene of death and destruction. Kashmir often burns or sings and demonitisation exercise looks more confused and flop than ever before; and all other sundry starters are turning out to be non-staters. Naturally, some heads have had to be rolled, some new faces were to be introduced and new slogans and mirages are to be designed to save face and salvage some portion of floating jetsam.

So, we have had a Cabinet reshuffle which is more political than administrative in the first impression. The representation of states that are going to election has been the primary factor to call or drop the faces in the new cabinet. However, the RSS ideology is still reigning supreme and the Hindutva card is kept active, alive and kicking. Anant Kumar Hedge is the living proof of that game.

The nine ministers inducted into the council of ministers are: Shiv Pratap Shukla (Rajya Sabha MP from Uttar Pradesh), Ashwini Kumar Choubey (Lok Sabha MP from Buxar, Bihar), Virendra Kumar (Lok Sabha MP from Tikamgarh, Madhya Pradesh), Anant Kumar Dattatreya Hegde (Lok Sabha MP from Uttara Kannada), RK Singh (Lok Sabha MP from Arrah, Bihar), Hardeep Singh Puri (ex-diplomat), Gajendra Singh Shekhawat (Lok Sabha MP from Jodhpur), Satya Pal Singh (Lok Sabha MP from Baghpat), and Alphons Kannanthanam (ex-bureaucrat). In the run up to the shuffle, six ministers "volunteered to resign".

The most curious face I see in this new Yatra is of Shri Anant Kumar Hegde.

In March 2016, the BJP MP Anant Kumar Hegde had made the fiery statement that created a buzz around the country. He had said that as long as there was Islam in this world, there would be terrorism. It was so very unfortunate that such shocking statements are given by a member of Lok Sabha. His statement was slap on the face of Indian democracy and salience of secularism.

Stating that he had not said anything offensive, he justified his statement saying that it was based on fact and expressed the hope that the EC would interpret his statement in a subjective manner. Parrying a question whether he would stand by his statement or deny it, Hegde said people would come to know about that in a few days.

A five-time BJP Lok Sabha MP from Uttar Kannada seat in Karnataka, Hegde was most recently in news in January this year for allegedly assaulting doctors at a private hospital in Sirsi, Uttara Kannada, over apparent delay in treating his mother. Sirsi police registered a suo motu case against Hegde on the basis of evidence from CCTV footage.

We know that Karnataka goes to the polls next year, and the young face of aggressive Hindutva, like Yogi Adityanath in Uttar Pradesh is expected to bring votes for the BJP. Hedge is an RSS member from his young days. He was an ABVP activist and rose through the ranks in the aftermath of Babri Masjid demolition in 1992. He faced his first case of rioting, unlawful assembly and promoting enmity in 1993, when he was allegedly part of a rioting mob in Bhatkal. In 1994, he caught the attention of RSS by dodging prohibitory orders in Hubli, north Karnataka, to raise the Tricolour at disputed Idgah Maidan on Independence Day.

An elected MP who gives irresponsible speeches and violates the law needed to be held accountable for his offensive deed and diatribe; and not the cabinet post.

Editorial NOTE: This article is categorized under Opinion Section. The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of In case you have a opposing view, please click here to share the same in the comments section.
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