NEW DELHI: As political parties, one after the other, latched onto the issue of a suicide by a dalit student in Hyderabad, BJP defended its ministers Bandaru Dattatreya and Smriti Irani saying the letter written by them had nothing to do with the incident. The ruling also targeted Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi for politicising the incident.
The BJP trained its guns on Rahul and questioned his selective visits. “He visited Hyderabad, but not Malda,” a BJP leader said.
Terming Rahul a non-serious and part-time politician, BJP spokesperson and secretary Shrikant Sharma said, “The suicide is unfortunate, but it has nothing to do with the letters written by ministers...law and order is a state subject.”
Defending Dattatreya and Irani, Sharma said Dattatreya had merely forwarded a complaint about the alleged anti-national activity of some students on campus to the HRD Minister, who in turn referred it to the institution for appropriate action. He noted that disciplinary action against Rohith Vemula and other students was taken by the university even before the Ministry’s communication to it in this regard.
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”.
“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,” Rao said while also quoting from victim’s suicide note.
“...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. This incident has nothing to do with Dalit issues or rights just because he was a Dalit,” he added.