Congress to move privilege motion against Smriti Irani

With the Congress deciding to move privilege motions against Human Resource Development Minister Smriti Irani in both Houses alleging that her statements on the death of Hyderabad University student Rohith Vemula misled Parliament, the political discourse around the death is set to get shriller.

Vemula’s mother Radhika met Congress president Sonia Gandhi, CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury and Janata Dal (United) leader K.C. Tyagi on Saturday in a sign that political heat from his alleged suicide is unlikely to die down soon.

“She is pained that the HRD Minister lied and that the Prime Minister has taken no action against his Ministers who branded Rohith anti-national, despite Mr. Modi calling him Mother India’s son,” Mr. Tyagi said after the meeting. K.T.S. Tulsi and Mr. Tyagi will also move privilege motions against the Minister.

On Friday, Ms. Vemula accused Ms. Irani of lying in Parliament, something that has led the Opposition parties to decide on cornering the government and the Minister on the facts.

The Opposition is disputing Ms. Irani’s contentions that a doctor was not allowed to revive Vemula just after the incident — something his mother has disputed — and that there was an SC/ST representative on the proctorial board that had expelled Vemula and four other PhD students, a claim that the expelled students have denied.

Left parties seek details of pamphlet

The BJP has been maintaining that Rohith Vemula was an OBC and not a Dalit, something said even by the Telangana Police. The Opposition parties are taking his mother’s line, endorsed by Scheduled Caste Commission Chairman P.L. Punia: She, as a Dalit, brought up her son, who was a Scheduled Caste as per law and had a certificate. BSP chief Mayawati had also attacked HRD Minister Smriti Irani in Parliament, saying the judicial inquiry into the suicide was not under a Dalit judge.

The Office of RG, the Twitter handle of Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi, tweeted on Saturday that Prime Minister Narendra Modi should hear the words of Vemula’s mother.

The Left parties will move privilege motions against Ms. Irani, for her statements on the suicide and for her reading out a pamphlet, allegedly put out by some students of JNU celebrating Mahishasura and using remarks derogatory to Goddess Durga. “We want to know what was the pamphlet she read out, what is its authenticity and why she read it out. Will a Minister read out any material circulating anywhere outside?” CPI leader D. Raja told The Hindu.

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Printable version | Sep 26, 2021 6:27:05 AM |

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