HYDERABAD: Taking a dig at Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi and other leaders who thronged the Hyderabad Central University after Rohith Vemula's death, Union Minister Venkaiah Naidu today said they tried to play politics without making a sincere effort to address the core issue.
"Ten (students) committed suicide in Hyderabad University (earlier). Some of them were Dalits, to say in their (opposition's) language. But no leader came then. Nobody showed sympathy because they were in power then. All came (in January) as if they have come for a pilgrimage," he said.
The politicians chose to attack Prime Minister Narendra Modi instead of trying to establish social harmony and prevent recurrence of such incidents, he said. "What is the problem? Why did he commit suicide? What were the circumstances? Whether the allegations are correct? How to resolve the issue? How to bring about change in the system? Who is responsible? What action is to be taken... without saying how to move ahead together, they said 'Modi'.
"When being pointed out that 10 students had died earlier when they were in power for 10 years, they said those things happened during our (NDA) regime and they happen routinely," he said.
The Union Urban Development Minister was speaking at a 'Kisan Gram Sabha' at Bowrampet village on the outskirts of the city as part of Centre's 'Gram Uday se Bharat Uday' initiative. He said caste and religion should be separated from politics, adding minority appeasement has been going on in the country for political benefits.
Stressing on establishing social harmony, he said religion is a matter of personal choice and also batted for unrestricted entry of women into temples. The BJP leader quoted Mahatma Gandhi's saying that country's development was incomplete without development of rural areas.
The Union Minister, who dwelt at length on a number of development programmes initiated by the Narendra Modi government, said Rs 35,984 crore have been allocated for agriculture in the Budget. The allocations for irrigation, farm loans have been increased substantially, among others.
It has been found that unlike major borrowers of loans like industrialists, repayment by Self-Help women groups and small borrowers have been prompt, Naidu said. He also talked about the crop insurance scheme for farmers, increased power generation and hike in allocation for NREGS.
Alleging that previous governments only did lip service on welfare of poor, Naidu said it was "Garibon ke liye ghoshna, aamiron ke liye poshna" (announcements for the poor and feeding for the rich). Showering praise on the Prime Minister, Naidu said Modi stood for "Maker of Developed India".