Union minister M Venkaiah Naidu on Sunday accused the Congress of ‘tamasha’ politics over the suicide of research scholar Rohith Vemula, and asserted that the party never “bothered to think about” Dalits during its own rule.
“...It is long misrule and divisive agenda of Congress party and also vote-bank agenda of Congress that has spoilt the social harmony and that’s why incident like Hyderabad (Central) University has happened,” Naidu said, addressing a public meeting in Hyderabad.
“Rohith’s is not the first incident (suicide)...10 (such suicides) incidents have happened during Congress regime. Nobody had time. No Sonia, no Rahul and no Digvijaya Singh. Nobody came to Hyderabad Central University. Nobody consoled nor condoled. Suddenly now they are doing drama,” the Union parliamentary affairs minister alleged.
On Congress Vice-President Rahul Gandhi holding a fast on the university campus over the suicide by Dalit student Vemula on January 17, he said: “When you were in power you never bothered to think about Dalits. A Dalit family committed suicide in Warangal (a district in Telangana). You never bothered to visit and condole and console.”
For more than 12 hours, Gandhi sat with students and the family members of Rohith Vemula who are on hunger strike, demanding justice.
He also participated in a candlelight vigil after midnight and spent the night on the campus. He remained seated along with the students at the protest venue near Shopping Complex to mark the birth anniversary of Vemula, who committed suicide two weeks ago.
“In the same university, 10 children committed suicide but you never bothered to come to Hyderabad. There was no question of offering dharna because your own government was there (in power),” the senior BJP leader said.
“You were silent then and violent now. This is all ‘tamasha’ going on. Congress party is doing ‘tamasha’ politics,” Naidu alleged.
“Why didn’t you remember then. Now you have lost power and now you are free and that’s why you are doing dharna here (in HCU). Is this a joke?” he asked.
He also called for keeping educational institutions out of politics.
“Don’t do cheap politics. Let us not do that...let us not do injustice to the children. Let university campus be kept out of politics. Focus should be on education on the campus and that is the change we are striving for. They are doing injustice to Rohith’s soul by their acts,” he said.
Naidu stressed that there is need to take preventive, corrective and appropriate action to see to it that universities get rid of caste and communal politics and also of anti-social elements.
“That should be the duty of every political party. But doing cheap and caste politics...only Congress and its allies can do it,” he claimed.