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Rohith Vemula death: Amid fresh row, BJP, Congress trade charges

Reacting to Goyal’s remarks, AICC general secretary Ashok Gehlot said Vemula’s mother had already clarified that she was not misused and would continue to speak against the BJP-led government.

Written by Lalmani Verma , Sreenivas Janyala | New Delhi/hyderabad |
Updated: June 21, 2018 12:52:11 pm
Rohith Vemula, Rohith Vemula dalit, Rohith Vemula caste, Rohith Vemula suicide case, Rohith Vemula death Dalit student Rohith Vemula had committed suicide in January in 2016. (Express photo)

THE BJP on Wednesday accused Opposition parties of playing “low-level politics” over Rohith Vemula’s death, citing reports that his mother, Radhika Vemula, had accused the Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) of making “false promises”.

Citing reports that Radhika Vemula had accused IUML of not giving her the promised Rs 20 lakh to attend political rallies and misrepresent facts, Union Minister Piyush Goyal said: “I received information that even the Congress president took Vemula’s family… and asked them to make statements… What was the intention behind this and what was offered? Rahul Gandhi should apologise for doing petty politics on a pillar of lies.”

“I was anxious after reading Rohith Vemula’s mother’s statement. Till when will some Opposition parties continue to do politics over this? The family is not financially stable and a false assurance of money was given to a distressed mother for political purposes,” he said.

Reacting to Goyal’s remarks, AICC general secretary Ashok Gehlot said Vemula’s mother had already clarified that she was not misused and would continue to speak against the BJP-led government. “In the current atmosphere prevailing in the country, farmers are committing suicide, Dalits are being subjected to atrocities, and SC/ST sections are angry. No section of society is happy with this government. To divert attention, Goyal is taking the name of Rahul Gandhi,” he said.

Speaking to The Indian Express, Radhika Vemula said her outburst against the IUML last week, after a bank rejected a cheque issued by the party, was being used to spread false information. “It is true that I gave vent to my ire against the IUML because of the delay in releasing the funds promised to us. I went to a bank in Guntur to encash a cheque of Rs 2.5 lakh issued on May 30, but the bank rejected it, saying there was a mistake in the name. I was really upset… My comments were distorted on social media,” she said.
“We had earlier selected two-three houses, costing about Rs 15 lakh, in Guntur, which was within the budget approved by the IUML. But they did not respond quickly, and the houses were purchased by others,’’ she said.
“These people (BJP) may be thinking that we are greedy for money. The fact is that I don’t need money to speak against Narendra Modi or the BJP ministers who were responsible for the death of my son… The IUML did not call me to speak against Modi or the BJP government, and I never took any money to speak against the BJP. I went to their programmes because I wanted justice for my son and wanted to speak out against the BJP government’s discriminatory policies,’’ she said.

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