Congress blames centre for Rohith Vemula’s death

New Delhi, Jan 30 (IANS) Rallying behind Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi, who protested along with students on hunger strike at University of Hyderabad, the party on Saturday blamed the Centre for the death of Dalit research scholar Rohith Vemula.

“Rahul Gandhi always becomes the voice of the people whether they are farmers, Dalits or safai karmacharis. He is the voice of the poor and the underprivileged in the country. He also joined the candlelight vigil at Hyderabad university last night (Friday),” Congress leader Ajay Maken told reporters.

“It is unfortunate that the BJP condemned Rahul Gandhi’s participation in the candle march. Instead of probing the role of the vice chancellor and their own minister in the Dalit scholar’s death, they are blaming Rahul Gandhi ji for politicising the issue. It is very unfortunate,” he added.

“Was it not politicising the matter when on the complaint of the ABVP (Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad) president, BJP minister Bandaru Dattatreya wrote a letter to HRD Minister Smriti Irani ji and she wrote five letters to Hyderabad university to probe the matter?

“Was it not politicising the issue when the HRD minister justified the actions of the vice chancellor in a press conference?” Maken asked.

Questioning the human resource development ministry, the Congress asked if there will be a fair probe in Vemula’s death.

“Instead of probing the role of their own ministers, the vice chancellor and the ABVP leader, who were responsible for the scholar’s death, the BJP is targeting Congress leaders, who are playing the role of a constructive opposition,” he added.

Congress spokesperson Tom Vadakkan, meanwhile, said: “For the BJP, Dalit issues are political gimmicks. But for us, they are the lifeline of this country.”

Earlier, the BJP had asked Gandhi not to politicise the death of the Dalit research scholar and stop “playing politics over dead bodies”.

Gandhi on Saturday continued his protest along with the students, demanding justice for the Dalit research scholar.

He took part in a candlelight vigil after Friday midnight and spent the night on the campus, sitting along with the students at the protest site.

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