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Dalit student suicide: BJP leader hits out at student body

Rejecting the Ambedkar Students Association’s (ASA) claim of representing the ideals of B.R. Ambedkar, BJP general secretary P. Muralidhar Rao tweeted on Wednesday: “Even one programme of ASA was not seen in support of national unity.”

Mr. Rao added, “Linkages of these forums on campuses with bigger anti-national agencies must be probed, investigated and curbed.”

The remarks, coming close on the heels of an outcry over the suicide of ASA member and University of Hyderabad student Rohith Vemula, are likely to generate much political heat.

Mr. Rao was answering questions of people on the issue on twitter.

He also questioned whether Mr. Vemula was a Dalit at all.

“Police investigation has revealed his parents belong to the Vaddera caste which comes under OBC in Andhra and Telangana,” Mr. Rao tweeted.

The ASA and ABVP were at loggerheads on the campus.

‘Why didn’t Rahul meet Susheel?’

Mr. Rao also hit out at Congress Vice-President Rahul Gandhi over his >Hyderabad visit in the wake of Vemula’s suicide.

“Why Rahul Gandhi and other leaders have not met Susheel (ABVP president at the university), who was badly beaten [up], before reaching conclusions?” he asked on Wednesday, while answering questions on the issue from twitterati.

“Going to Malda, Kashmir, Pathankot were not priority for Rahul Gandhi. People should know for whom Congress stands.”

Ultra-left forums

“Why are Congress and Leftists in support of beef festivals in campuses, but not for Indian festivals,” he said, accusing forums like Ambedkar Students Association of being fronts of the ultra-left.

“Anti-national activities supporting violence should be dealt with iron hands. No scope for supporters of terrorism,” he added.

Mr. Rao claimed that the BJP needed no “certificate” for its commitment to Dalits.

“London Memorial, PM’s special drive for Dalit entrepreneurship are evidence for BJP’s commitment for Dalit empowerment,” he tweeted.

“BJP’s support for Dalit cause and respect for Ambedkar does not need certificate of anyone. Sashakt BJP, Sashakt Dalit (strong BJP, strong Dalits).”

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Printable version | Jul 9, 2020 8:06:34 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/Dalit-student-suicide-BJP-leader-hits-out-at-student-body/article14012155.ece

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