Union Minister Smriti Irani on Wednesday accused the ruling Trinamool Congress in West Bengal of indulging in a vote bank politics over the suicide of a Dalit scholar in Hyderabad.
“Trinamool leader Derek O’Brien had gone to Hyderabad to demand justice for the Dalit student. I want to ask him… in Nadia, a Trinamool leader had murdered three Dalits inside their home in May 2015… why didn’t O’Brien visit their families?” Irani said.
“Because for him, vote bank ‘tamasha’ in Hyderabad is more important than securing justice in Nadia,” she said at a public rally in Durgapur, around 165 km from Kolkata.
Widespread protests have rocked India following the death of Rohith Vemula, who committed suicide on January 17 after his suspension along with four other Dalit students from Hyderabad University over an alleged clash with a leader of the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP).
Last week a two-member Trinamool MP delegation, led by its leader in the Rajya Sabha Derek O’Brien, spent a long time at the Hyderabad University campus and addressed the students demanding justice for Vemula.
Irani also slammed the Mamata Banerjee-led government on recent incidences of violence in the state.
“In Malda, a police station was burnt. Police watched the tamasha and Mamata did not say a word. Nobody said anything when the constitutional laws were being torn apart,” she said.
Irani also criticised the party on the sensational hit-and-run case in which an IAF corporal was mowed down in Kolkata. He was killed while supervising the Republic Day Parade rehearsals.