The BJP on Tuesday accused Rahul Gandhi of politicising the suicide of a Dalit student at University of Hyderabad after the Congress leader visited the protest-hit campus, and insisted that the issue had nothing to do with the victim being from the backward community.
BJP general secretary P. Muralidhar Rao attacked Rahul Gandhi for “unprincipled” behaviour, saying that the same Congress which had “harassed” Dalit leader B.R. Ambedkar “all his life” was now trying to project itself as champion of Dalit cause. He alleged that Hyderabad student Rohith Vemula’s suicide has been made into political issue by “Congress, section of media and some groups with vested interests“.
Mr. Rao, in a series of tweets, said, “Suicide of Rohith Vemula has nothing to do with Dalit issues or rights just because he was a Dalit. It is merely politicising of the issue.” “Disciplinary action was taken against Rohith at the advice of the court and even a lenient stand was taken by University authorities by permitting him to enter the campus except the hostel,” he said.
“Rahul Gandhi’s hurried visit to Hyderabad is an unprincipled behaviour and it is unfortunate that a national political party stoops to such levels. Congress did gross injustice to Dr. B.R. Ambedkar and harassed him all his life. Now Rahul Gandhi and Digvijay Singh championing Dalit cause!!,” he said. Mr. Rao also hit out at the Delhi Chief Minister saying, “Arvind Kejriwal, like always, is trying to fish in troubled waters in the politicized issue of Rohit Vemula suicide!”
He has even gone to the extent of demanding apology from the PM, the BJP leader said. Defending the action against the student, Mr. Rao said, “The context of the clash between student groups was Rohith’s stand in support of terrorism, including that against hanging of Yakub Memon.” The BJP leader, who hails from Telangana, said Rohith’s suicide note is self revealing. “Connecting with incidents related to his ideological adversaries is baseless and orchestrated,” he said.
Mr. Rao had on Monday said that linking the Dalit aspect to Hyderabad student death is “objectionable” and it is an “orchestrated campaign to malign the BJP.”
Rahul Gandhi, who visited the University campus in Hyderabad, alleged that the Vice Chancellor and Union Ministers have not acted fairly in the case and demanded “strictest” punishment for those responsible for the student’s death. “This youngster was put in so much pain that he had no option but to kill himself. But when you impose ideas on youngsters, and want only those ideas, then tragedies take place.”
“Every student can come to the University — whether he belongs to any caste or religion. He should feel that I can say what I want to say,” he said in a series of tweets. “The idea of a University is that young people can come and share their thoughts,” he said, adding, “These students were protesting against the unjust expulsion and social boycott of Dalit students on campus.” He also met students belonging to the Ambedkar Students Association.