Union Minister Anantkumar Hegde stirred a row after comparing opposition members to crows, monkeys, foxes. At a public meeting in Karwar in Karnataka, Hegde said: "On one side crows, monkeys, foxes and others have come together, on the other side we have a tiger. In 2019, choose to elect the tiger."
Holding the Congress responsible for the rate of growth of the country, he said: "We are sitting on plastic chairs, isn't it? (asking the audience). This is due to Congress rule, had we ruled for 70 years, you would have been sitting on silver chairs," he claimed.
Hedge has often in the past sparked controversies over his statements. In January 2018, he had faced flak after he compared Dalits to dogs. "We are stubborn people. When dogs bark on the road, we don't care." He had later clarified that his remark was not aimed at Dalits but towards the 'so-called intellectuals' who were critical of his political stand on various issues.
In the run-up to the Karnataka elections, Hegde had in February said that only those from Dakshina Kannada, Uttara Kannada and Shivamogga speak chaste Kannada and that the others were not speaking Kannada at all. "Even Bengaluru and Mysuru people do not know how to speak proper Kannada," he had claimed.
He had in December 2017 took pot shots at 'secularists' and said that the BJP would change the Constitution in days to come. "Those who consider themselves secular and intellectuals do not have 'their own identity' and they were also unaware of their parentage," he had said.