Smarting from an electoral defeat in the 2014 general elections, the Opposition — especially the Left parties — are hatching conspiracies to ‘tarnish’ the image of the NDA government, said Union human resource development minister Smriti Irani on Monday.
Addressing a workshop organised by NGO Society Against Conflict and Hate (SACH ) — attended by members of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) and its student wing, the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP), she said the recent controversies involving students of Hyderabad Central University (HCU) and the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) were examples of political vendetta against the BJP government, which came to power with a brute majority.
According to a source present at the workshop closed to the media, the minister, who is under fire for her ministry’s handling of the students’ issues, lashed out at the Left parties for being nervous about their “eroding ideological and political space” and being unable to come to terms with the election results.
“The minister spoke about the Opposition’s strategy to tarnish the image of the government and mount attacks on her. She said the Left is particularly agitated as their political and academic space in universities is shrinking. Since they are unable to take on the BJP electorally, they are resorting to conspiracies,” the source said.
Irani, who put up a spirited defence of the government following the uproar over the Centre’s alleged role in abetting the suicide of Dalit scholar Rohith Vemula in HCU and slapping charges of sedition against students in JNU, has been accused of misleading Parliament.
The Congress too has moved a similar motion in the Lok Sabha, alleging Irani misled the House on Vemula and JNU issue.
But the minister has remained unfazed. On Monday she dug her heels in and reiterated that her statement asserting that Vemula’s body was not handed over to the police for over 24 hours after he committed suicide is backed by a documentary proof.