Rejecting Congress’ demand for resignation of Union ministers Smriti Irani and Bandaru Dattatreya over the suicide of a dalit student at Hyderabad Central University, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) today accused its vice president Rahul Gandhi of politicising the death.
Attacking Congress for taking the political discourse to “such a low” that it was doing politics over a student’s death, BJP insisted there was no link between Rohith Vemula’s suicide and the Hyderabad Central University’s action against him and other students on a complaint against them.
Defending Dattatreya and Irani, party’s national secretary Shrikant Sharma said the former had merely forwarded a complaint about the alleged anti-national activity of some students on the campus to the HRD Minister, who in turn referred it to the institution for appropriate action.
He noted the disciplinary action against Vemula and another student was taken by the university even before the Ministry’s communication to it in this regard.
“It is unfortunate that Rahul Gandhi is doing politics over suicide. Congress has stooped to such a low that it is doing politics over the death of a student. We reject any such demand (of resignation) outright,” Sharma, accompanied by another party secretary Sidharth Nath Singh, told reporters.
They noted that the HRD Ministry had already sent a committee to inquire about the incident and it will soon submit its report.
Earlier, BJP general secretary P Muralidhar Rao alleged that Vemula’s suicide has been made into a political issue by “Congress, a section of media and some groups with vested interests”.
Rao, in a series of tweets, said, “Suicide of Rohith Vemula has nothing to do with Dalit issues or rights just because he was a Dalit. It is merely politicising of the issue.”
“Disciplinary action was taken against Rohith at the advice of the court and even a lenient stand was taken by University authorities by permitting him to enter the campus except the hostel,” he said.
“Rahul Gandhi’s hurried visit to Hyderabad is an unprincipled behaviour and it is unfortunate that a national political party stoops to such levels.
“Congress did gross injustice to Dr B R Ambedkar and harassed him all his life. Now Rahul Gandhi and Digvijay Singh championing Dalit cause!” he said.
The BJP leader, who hails from Telangana, said the student’s suicide note is self-revealing. “Connecting with incidents related to his ideological adversaries is baseless and orchestrated,” he said.
Taking a dig at Gandhi, Sharma said he was a “part-time and non-serious” politician.
Rao said, “As it is clearly evident from his suicide note, Rohith was in conflict with himself. Nowhere in the note, has he made any reference to his friends or enemies as the reason for his decision to commit suicide.”
Quoting from Rohith’s purported suicide note, the BJP leader said he has stated that, “I have no complaints with anyone. It was always with myself that I had problems. I feel a growing gap between my soul and my body. All the while, for some people, life itself is curse. My birth is my fatal accident. I can never recover from my childhood loneliness.”
Rao further said, “His suicide note is self-revealing. So connecting his suicide with incidents related to his ideological adversaries is baseless and a cruel political game played with his death by Congress and some groups with vested interests.”