Turning up the heat on Union HRD Minister Smriti Irani, the Congress and CPI(M) said Saturday that they would move notices to bring a privilege motion against her for “misleading Parliament” on the events surrounding the suicide of Dalit student Rohith Vemula.
Referring to Irani’s comments in Lok Sabha this week on Vemula’s death, the Congress said the BJP was “waging a war against Dalits” while the CPI(M) said “untruth and lies” were uttered in the Lower House.
The Union HRD Minister “has not only been economical with the truth but has also willfully misled the Parliament” on the suicide of Vemula, alleged AICC general secretary Mukul Wasnik during a joint press conference with former union ministers Kumari Selja and Manish Tewari.
The Congress leaders questioned Irani’s statement in Lok Sabha that when Telangana police reached the Hyderabad university hostel, they found the room open and the body of Vemula on the table. Irani had said that according to police, “no one allowed a doctor near this child, to revive this child.”
Wasnik said, “On the other hand Rohith Vemula’s mother, Radhika Vemula, has told the media that her other son, Raja, reached the university at 8.30 pm and there was a doctor and policemen inside. Raja Vemula has corroborated the statement.”
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The Congress leaders said Rohith’s friends, who were expelled from the hostel along with him for allegedly assaulting an ABVP leader, have stated that action against them was taken following a letter sent by the HRD Joint Secretary to the university to look into the matter.
“The HRD Minister has claimed that there was an SC/ST representative on the proctorial board that expelled the five PHD students including Vemula. The other expelled students, on the other hand, countered that this decision was taken on the 167th Executive Council meeting on November 16, 2015, which doesn’t have any SC/ST representative among its 11 members,” Wasnik said.
Senior CPI(M) leader Mohammad Salim told The Sunday Express that his party has also decided to move a privilege motion on the issue.
Salim said “there has been miscarriage of facts” and “untruth and lies” were said in Lok Sabha on the Vemula issue. He said the lies were regarding statements that no one was allowed near the dead body, including police.
Rahul to Modi: Watch Rohith’s mother
Taking a dig at Prime Minister Narendra Modi over his endorsement of Smriti Irani’s comments on Rohith Vemula’s suicide, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi Saturday posted on his Twitter account: “Satyameva Jayate! Modiji do hear these words of Rohith Vemula’s mother”.
The tweet included a video of Vemula’s mother accusing Irani of lying. Modi had posted a link to Irani’s speech, with the words: “Satyemeva Jayate”