Karnataka revenue minister RV Deshpande on Wednesday courted controversy after a video of him throwing sports kits at athletes from a stage went viral, drawing sharp criticism on social media.
The Congress leader was highly criticised on Twitter, especially by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders who termed Deshpande's behaviour "uncivilised" and "unacceptable". BJP Karnataka tweeted a video of the incident claiming that this "uncivilised culture is a part and parcel of Congress party":
Don't be confused, that's not a hooligan throwing things around. This is Revenue minister Sri. R V Deshpande throwing sports kit at sportspersons. He seems to be inspired by Sri. HD Revanna. After all such uncivilised culture is a part & parcel of Congress party. pic.twitter.com/8gLzlJM3cx " BJP Karnataka (@BJP4Karnataka) October 31, 2018
Sports Minister Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore retweeted the video calling it "an unacceptable behaviour", asking Deshpande to respect the athletes.
Absolutely unacceptable behavior! Mr Deshpande, please do not undermine the dignity of those athletes or your position. https://t.co/mYAdP2Zfv5
" Rajyavardhan Rathore (@Ra_THORe) November 1, 2018
The incident took place at an event to honour sportspersons in Karwar's Haliyal. At the event, Deshpande was seen standing on the stage and throwing the kits, packed in plastic covers, towards athletes who had earned laurels at the national, state and district levels. The act was captured on video, which was later circulated on social media.
The Congress leader was in his home constituency to inaugurate a new indoor stadium and to honour local sportspersons.
" ANI (@ANI) November 1, 2018
Deshpande, however, defended his actions saying that the reactions were unnecessary. "They are all our boys and know me very well. Some people are trying to make a mountain out of a molehill," he told Times of India.
Earlier, state Public Works Department (PWD) minister and brother of chief minister HD Kumaraswamy, HD Revanna faced flak after he threw food materials towards flood victims in Kodagu district. Defending his brother, Kumaraswamy said Revanna's act was not out of "arrogance".
"I have noticed that the issue has come in TV, don't take him otherwise. I have cross-checked... while distributing the biscuits, there were large number of people and there was no place for movement," he had told reporters.