Karwar: Union minister Ananth Kumar Hegde was spotted sharing the stage with a rowdy sheeter named Fayaz Chauti.

Hegde’s act has left the BJP embarrassed, that too at a time when the Lok Sabha polls are fast approaching. In the recent past, Hegde and Chauti were spotted together several times. This has left the BJP agitated.

Netizens are now questioning the link between Hegde and Chauti. Several social media posts read that the one who has links with rowdies has been given a seat, but for the same, the common man would have been sent to prison.

Vivek Reddy, a BJP leader, has said that there could be several people present at rallies that one cannot possibly avoid.

“One cannot shun a particular person or group, for whatever reasons, when one is at a public rally. That angle needs to be considered when making such blatant claims,” defended Reddy.

Hegde has in the past criticised other religions but is now spotted with a rowdy sheeter belonging to another religion.

Hegde is a five-time BJP Lok Sabha MP from Uttara Kannada in Karnataka.

He was in the news in January last year for allegedly assaulting doctors at a private hospital in Sirsi over the alleged delay in treating his mother. Sirsi Police had registered a suo motu case against Hegde on the basis of evidence from CCTV footage.

In March 2016, a case was filed against him in Sirsi for hate speech after he remarked at a press conference, “As long as there is Islam, there will be no peace in the world.”

Hegde’s recent controversy was when he questioned how a son of a Muslim could become a Brahmin named Gandhi, targeting Congress president Rahul Gandhi. He further went on to ask Rahul to prove his roots.

Hegde’s comments came after Rahul sought proof of the Indian Air Force’s (IAF) air strikes on Pakistan in the aftermath of terror attack on CRPF jawans in Pulwama.