The BJP on Tuesday accused Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi of politicizing the suicide of a Dalit student at Hyderabad Central University 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” behavior, saying the same Congress which had “harassed” Dalit leader BR Ambedkar “all his life” was now trying to project itself as champion of Dalit cause.
Muralidhar Rao 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”.
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 politicizing 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 behavior and it is unfortunate that a national political party stoops to such levels, he said.
Earlier in the day, Rahul Gandhi visited the University campus and alleged that the vice-chancellor and Union ministers did not act fairly in the case and demanded “strictest” punishment for those responsible for the student’s death.
“There are certain people who are responsible for this boy’s death. The vice-chancellor is among them. The minister is among them and the people who have applied pressure on this boy from expressing his ideas are among them. Whoever is responsible for this “outcome” (the death) has to be punished in the strictest manner possible”, the Congress vice-president said.
“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 ‘I can say what I want to say,'” Rahul said in a series of tweets.
The dalit student Rohith Vemula, who committed suicide on Sunday night, was among the five research scholars who were suspended by Hyderabad Central University (HCU) in August last year and also one of the accused in the case of assault on a student leader. They were also kept out of the hostel.