New Delhi: Firebrand Union Minister from Karnataka Anant Kumar Hegde has stoked a controversy by questioning the caste and religion of Congress president Rahul Gandhi.

Referring to the Congress leader’s demands for proof of the IAF strike at Balakot, Hegde said,”Rahul Gandhi is demanding evidences of airstrikes conducted by our soldiers in Pakistan. But, I will ask, what is the proof that he is a Hindu? He calls himself a ‘janeudhari Hindu’, how did a person born to a Muslim father and Christian mother become a Brahmin? Will he give DNA proof?”

Reacting to Hegde’s statement, Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) president Dinesh Gundu Rao said the Union Minister was once again indulging in making “crude, crass and communal remarks against Rahul Gandhi”.

“Union Minister Anant Kumar Hegde is at it again-making crude, crass and communal remarks against Rahul Gandhi. His continued diatribe indicates that he has the blessings of Narendra Modi and Amit Shah to indulge in such uncouth behaviour,” the Congress leader tweeted.

Notably, Rahul Gandhi’s religion has been questioned by various BJP leaders since the Congress party claimed he is a ‘janeudhari’ Brahmin.

Last year, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj had said, “Congress claimed that Rahul Gandhi is a janeu-dhari (the one who wears Brahminical thread) Hindu, but I did not know he is so rich in knowledge that now he will teach us the meaning of Hinduism. I wish the day won’t come when we have to learn meaning of being a Hindu from Rahul Gandhi (Bayan aaya ki wo ‘janeudhari brahmin’ hai,par mujhe nahi maloom tha ki ‘janeudhari brahmin’ ke gyan mein itni vridhi ho gayi ki Hindu hone ka matlab ab hame unse samajhna padega.Bhagwan na kare ki wo din kabhi aaye ki Rahul Gandhi se hame Hindu hone ka matlab janna pade).”