NEW DELHI: Union Minister of State for Labour (independent charge) Bandaru Dattatreya on Tuesday accused Congress's Jyotiraditya Scindia for ‘tarnishing his image’, and said that he never mentioned Hyderabad PhD scholar Rohith Vemula’s name in the letter sent to the HRD ministry.
“I never mentioned Rohith’s name (in the letter to the HRD Ministry). I never mentioned any student’s name or any organisation of the university as casteist or anti-social or anti-national element… Jyotiraditya has tarnished my image,” Dattatreya told the reporters here.
“But, I have mentioned the petition which came for me through a BJP vice-president which I forwarded to the HRD Minister because whatever were the activities prevailing in the university, I wanted to make it correct. I don’t want any punishment for anybody but my intention was only to see that these activities when Yakub Memon incident was glorified, I thought that I should mention that one,” he added.
Congress leader Jyotiraditya Scindia on February 24 accused the BJP-led government of creating an atmosphere of intolerance in the country and alleged that efforts were on to crush any opposing point of view.
Speaking in the Lok Sabha, Scindia demanded action against Human Resources Development Minister Smriti Irani and Labour Minister Bandaru Dattatreya over Rohith’s suicide.
Rohith, who committed suicide in Hyderabad Central University, along with four other Dalit students was allegedly expelled from hostel following a tussle with students affiliated with the student wing of the BJP, Akhil Bharatiya Vidhyarthi Parishad (ABVP).
He belonged to Guntur district of Amravati and was doing his PhD in science technology and society studies for the past two years, before the scholar allegedly got involved in a tiff between two student groups in August last year.