Updated: June 20, 2018 2:04:13 pm
The BJP on Wednesday accused Opposition parties of playing “low-level politics” over Rohit Vemula’s death after a report claimed that the Dalit scholar’s mother slammed the Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) for making “false promises”.
“Indian Union Muslim League made fake promises to provide them (Rohith Vemula’s family) Rs 20 lakh and asked them to address their rallies and misrepresent the unfortunate incident…,” Union Minister Piyush Goyal said at a press conference.
According to a report in The News Minute, days after Rohith committed suicide in his hostel room, the IUML had promised his mother Radhika Rs 20 lakh for building a house for the family, which presently stays in a rented accommodation.
However, Vemula’s mother today said the IUML did not use her for political gains and she spoke against Prime Minister Narendra Modi on her own accord. “It’s true that Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) promised to provide me with money, but they haven’t used me for political gains. It was my wish to speak against PM Modi and if needed I will speak again in any of their meetings,” news agency ANI quoted her as saying.
She added that one of the cheques IUML sent her had bounced but the party promised to directly transfer money. “Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) sent us two cheques of Rs 2.5 lakh out of which one has bounced. We informed them & they said they will directly provide us money so that we can buy a house,” she said.
Goyal accused Opposition parties of exploiting Vemula’s mother by making fake assurances.
“I was anxious after reading Rohith Vemula’s mother’s statement. For how long will some opposition parties continue to play politics over it? The family is not financially stable. Fake assurance of money was provided to a distressed mother for political purposes,” Goyal said.
He also demanded Congress president Rahul Gandhi to apologise for indulging in such “petty politics”. “I received information that even Congress President took them (Vemula’s family) to rallies and asked them to make statements. Rahul Gandhi should apologise for doing petty politics on pillar of lies,” Goyal said.
Goyal claimed there Vemula’s mother is being pressured to retract her statements. “The statements of Rohith Vemula’s mother are all before us, I believe there was an effort made to pressure the mother to retract from what she had said, probably again on the pretext of giving her some money,” he said.
Earlier, Vemula’s mother had accused the IUML of harassment. “Why are they troubling me so much. They can just call me and hand it over, instead of sending it in this manner, in instalments and by courier. If they don’t want to give, they can say that openly as well, instead of harassing us in this way,” she told The News Minute.
The Indian Union Muslim League, however, called the cheque bounce a clerical mistake.
Rohith Vemula’s suicide inside the Hyderabad university campus in 2016 had triggered a massive row with the Opposition calling it a case of atrocities against Dalits. However, an inquiry by the Andhra Pradesh government declared Vemula as belonging to the Other Backward Class and not a Dalit.
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