Ananthkumar Hegde, a five-time parliamentarian from Karnataka, was caught on camera assaulting doctors over his mother's treatment in January.
In the middle of the buzz today about Prime Minister Narendra Modi's new-look government, CCTV footage of one of the new ministers slapping a doctor was widely circulated and also looped on some TV channels. Ananthkumar Hegde, a five-time parliamentarian from Karnataka, was caught on camera slapping a doctor over his mother's treatment in January.
In CCTV footage from the TSS hospital in Sirsi, around 400 km from Bengaluru, the 49-year-old politician was seen grabbing a doctor by the throat and slamming him against a wall. He was seen assaulting and hitting the doctor. Another doctor was also allegedly beaten. In images flashed across the media, the doctors displayed scars and gashes. Other hospital employees were allegedly pushed by the lawmaker's aides.
Mr Hegde was apparently furious because he felt the doctors were not paying enough attention to his mother, who had suffered multiple fractures after a fall at home.
A police case was registered against Mr Hedge, who prides himself as a Tae Kwon Do practitioner.
Last year, he was charged with hurting religious sentiment after he said at a press conference: "As long as there is Islam in this world, there will be terrorism. Until and unless we root out Islam from this world, terrorism cannot be eradicated" He later defended the inflammatory comment too.
Mr Hegde, who has no administrative experience, is seen to fit in neatly with the party's arithmetic for the election next year in Karnataka. Parts of his Uttara Kannada constituency are in communally sensitive coastal Karnataka, which was once a BJP stronghold but chose the Congress in the 2013 assembly polls.
"It is a pleasure to work with PM Modi... we are confident that we will be back in power in 2018," Mr Hedge said.
He was elected MP first at the age of 28 after defeating Congress veteran Margaret Alva. He has been a member of parliamentary committees on finance, home affairs, human resource development, commerce, agriculture and external affairs.