January 21, 2016 6:05:50 pm
Congress on Thursday flayed Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s silence over the suicide by a Dalit research scholar in Hyderabad Central University while accusing the BJP of playing caste politics over it. “What has happened to Rohith Vemula in Hyderabad? Is this not casteism and victimisation,” Congress Rajya Sabha MP Kumari Selja said.
“Both the Union ministers are accountable for what has happened,” she said while seeking immediate dismissal of HRD Minister Smriti Irani and Labour Minister Bandaru Dattatreya. “How can one in the government call a bright student anti-national,” the Congress leader said, adding the role and functioning of the Vice Chancellor of the university too is “questionable”.
“Modi should speak and take action against his ministers,” she said, adding that the PM must show the country that he delivers on what he says. “The negative politics of BJP is spreading to educational institutions of the country too,” she said adding the Modi government was responsible for “vitiating” the atmosphere of the country. She said the “anti-Dalit mindset of the BJP, RSS and the government has been manifesting itself in various forms across the country, with blatantly partisan crimes and atrocities being committed against Dalits with active encouragement from the Central Government.”
Hitting out at Irani, she said that the HRD minister had been lying in a bid to “protect” the perpetrators. “Irani yesterday came up with a set of lies that have been thoroughly and totally exposed in less than 12 hours of her assertions,” she said. Selja said Irani should have visited the family of the victim and also assessed the ground situation.
“Irani is making baseless claims on the suicide to misguide the country,” Selja said adding, the BJP has been playing “casteist politics” over the issue. She alleged Irani had “misled” the country by saying a “blatant lie” that the sub-committee of the Executive council, which recommended the expulsion of five Dalit students of whom Rohith Vemula later committed suicide, was headed by a Dalit faculty member.
The claim has been proved to be patently false by none other than the University’s SC/ST Teachers and Officers Forum, who have not only made public the truth of the committee having been headed by an upper caste man, but have also decided to resign from all administrative positions in protest against the Ministers’ “fabricated” statement, she said.
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