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PM should clarify, act against those making remarks about changing Constitution: Mallikarjun Kharge

New Delhi, Mar 11 (PTI) Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge on Monday attacked the BJP over Anantkumar Hegde's remarks about amending the Constitution, saying such a move would cause upheaval in the country and Prime Minister Narendra Modi should clarify the matter.

New Delhi, Mar 11 (PTI) Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge on Monday attacked the BJP over Anantkumar Hegde's remarks about amending the Constitution, saying such a move would cause 'upheaval' in the country and Prime Minister Narendra Modi should clarify the matter.

He also accused the BJP of being against social justice and secularism as enshrined in the Constitution and said though many of its leaders and MPs have made such statements in the past, the prime minister has remained silent so far.

'Why is Prime Minister Modi keeping silent on the issue. Several leaders have made such remarks in the past and this is not the first time that a BJP or RSS leader has talked about amending the Constitution. Why should the prime minister allow BJP leaders to speak like this. He should clarify,' he said at a press conference.

Terming this a serious matter, he said, 'If he (PM) has the courage he should speak out against those who make such remarks.' 'They (BJP) are against social justice and secularism enshrined in the Constitution,' he said.

'This is not a good mindset, this will create upheaval in the country if you want to change the Constitution,' Kharge said, hitting out at the BJP.

Asked what kind of upheaval he forsees, he said, 'if social justice is denied to the poor and oppressed, they will not remain silent'.

'If the BJP continues to speak with such mindset, the people are watching them, their remarks, views and sentiments and will decide accordingly in 2024 elections,' he said.

The Congress president said the BJP aims to get a massive mandate only for amending the Constitution according to their needs as their leaders are against social justice to the poor and oppressed classes, and secularism.

Kharge's attack came after Hegde, at a gathering in Karwar in Karnataka on Saturday, had said the BJP needed a two-thirds majority in both Houses of Parliament to amend the Constitution and 'set right the distortions and unnecessary additions made to it by the Congress'.

Kharge said, 'I have to say sadly that Constitution has not been fully accepted by the BJP.' He claimed that on one hand Prime Minister Modi states that the Constitution will not be changed and on the other hand, he makes his people say that they need two-thirds majority to amend it.

This statement has been made not by any fringe element but a BJP MP, Kharge said.

That is why PM Modi says 400-plus seats for the NDA as they want to amend the Constitution, Kharge claimed.

'If anyone in my party makes such remarks I will remove him, if they (BJP) have courage they should do it.... If they believe in B R Ambedkar, they should remove such people from their party and not give them tickets,' the Congress chief said.

'Unless Modi sahib does not agree, how can anyone speak like this, as the BJP leadership has sent many a leader packing in the past. Then why is the prime minister silent so far,' he said.

On whether the opposition parties of the INDIA bloc are together on the issue, he said, 'We are fighting together and we will continue to fight together.' He said the INDIA parties have been fighting against unemployment, price rise, and issues of farmers and the youth, and will continue to fight together.

A six-term Lok Sabha MP and former Union minister, Hegde is known for his hardline views and his comments have sparked controversies in the past too.

The BJP on Sunday dubbed Hegde's remarks 'personal opinion' and sought a clarification from him.

In a post on X, the Karnataka unit of the BJP had said, 'MP Ananthkumar Hegde's remarks on the Constitution are his personal views and do not reflect the party's stance. BJP reaffirms our unwavering commitment to uphold the nation's Constitution and will ask for an explanation from Hegde regarding his comments.' PTI ASK SKC SMN

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