NEW DELHI: The Congress and the ruling BJP locked horns on the second day of Budget Session in the Lok Sabha with both parties taking potshots at each other while discussing the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) controversy and the suicide of Dalit scholar Rohith Vemula.
Congress MP Jyotiraditya Scindia lashed out at the ruling dispensation over the arrest of JNU students’ union president Kanhaiya Kumar. Quoting various officials including ministers who passed out from the JNU, Scindia asked as to how the BJP leaders could demand that the prestigious institution be shut down.
“Home Minister Rajnath Singh had said that Hafiz Saeed supported JNU protest, shouldn’t the Home Minister have investigated before saying this?” he asked. “The government will have to answer whether it is a sin to follow in the path of Dr. (BR) Ambedkar,” Scindia said.
The Congress leader also questioned Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s silence on the JNU row. “Our Prime Minister is one who tweets all the time, but he took five days to break his silence. He didn’t even say a word during his ‘Mann ki Baat’ programme,” Scindia said.
Taking potshots at the government, Scindia said it was unacceptable to blacklist a university of 8,000 students for the actions of only eight students.
“I’ve been in politics for just 15 years, but I have never heard of the National Security Advisor deciding whether an individual is a Dalit or not,” he taunted. BJP MP Anurag Thakur later replying to Scindia's criticism mocked him over his remark that the government should arrest 2001 Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru.
“Scindia ji is saying that he (Afzal Guru) should be arrested. How do we arrest him when he has already been hanged to death?” he said. The BJP MP from Hamirpur also fired salvos at Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi.
“The students in JNU were raising pro-Afzal Guru slogans. Who is Afzal Guru? The slogans raised in the JNU were ‘Kashmir Ki Azadi tak jung rahegi, Bharat ki Azadi tak jung rahegi’. They can wait to see India cut into pieces, but we can't,” he said.
“You can criticize Indian govt but criticizing India is not acceptable. It would never be accepted by any Indian. Rahul Gandhi goes to a university named after his great grandfather and supports anti-nationals,” he added.
Anurag Thakur blasts Rahul Gandhi in LS, questions his JNU visit
Bharatiya Janata Party MP Anurag Thakur on Wednesday lashed out at Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi, saying he visits the university named after his great grandfather and supports the anti-national elements.
“Rahul Gandhi goes to a university named after his grandfather and supports anti-nationals,” he told the Lok Sabha. Continuing his tirade, the BJP MP from Hamirpur in Himachal Pradesh said the Congress’ slogan is ‘family first, party second and nation last’.
“Are you with Afzal Guru, the Parliament or democracy?” Thakur asked.
Congress leader Jyotiraditya Scindia, however, hit back at the BJP MP for his unwarranted criticism of Gandhi.
“Anurag Thakur made derogatory allegations against the Congress vice-president. He must be expunged from the record,” Scindia said in the Lok Sabha. Scindia earlier lashed out at the government over the suicide of Hyderabad University scholar Rohit Vemula and sedition charges imposed on the JNU students in a stormy budget session of the Lok Sabha.
The Congress vice-president had earlier on Saturday evening accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led government and the ABVP of bullying an institution like the JNU.
“The most anti-national people are the ones who are suppressing the voice of this institution,” he said while addressing the students during his visit to the JNU campus.