NEW DELHI/AMARAVATHI: A fresh controversy erupted today over the suicide of research scholar Rohith Vemula, with Union Minister Piyush Goyal claiming that her mother was offered money to share stage with opposition leaders and target the BJP over her son's death, a charge denied by Radhika Vemula.
"The condition of the family (Vemula) was not good and she was promised money for political reasons so that she could share stage with opposition leaders and level allegations," Goyal told a press conference in New Delhi.
He cited reports that Rohith Vemula's mother had accused Indian Union Muslim League, a Kerala-based party, of not giving her the promised Rs 20 lakh to attend political rallies where false allegations against the BJP were levelled.
"How long opposition parties will continue with such abhorrent tactics for petty political gains," Goyal said.
He said Rahul Gandhi had also shared staged with her and claimed that it should be found out what allurements were offered to her.
"The Congress president should apologise," he said, claiming that opposition parties have been unmasked for their politics based on lies.
Radhika Vemula, however, denied she was given money to target the BJP over her son's death.
"This is... full of lies. Nobody paid me to criticise Prime Minister Narendra Modi or the BJP. I do hold them responsible for my son's death," Radhika told NDTV.
"I only told an online media that the Indian Union Muslim League promised me some money to buy a house following my son's death. But that was not for attending any rally or criticising the Prime Minister or the BJP," she said.
She added that organisers of the rallies made travel arrangements for her.
"I still do my job (stitching clothes) for livelihood," she said.
University of Hyderabad research scholar Rohith Vemula's suicide in 2016 had sparked a major political row.