New Delhi: Rejecting Congress' demand for resignation of Union ministers Smriti Irani and Bandaru Dattatreya over the suicide of a Dalit student at Hyderabad Central University, BJP today accused its vice president Rahul Gandhi of politicising the death.
Attacking Congress for taking the political discourse to "such a low" that it was doing politics over a student's death, BJP insisted there was no link between Rohith Vemula's suicide and the Hyderabad Central University's action against him and other students on a complaint against them.
Defending its ministers, party's national secretary Shrikant Sharma said the Mr Dattatreya had merely forwarded a complaint about the alleged anti-national activity of some students on the campus to the Human Resources Development Minister Smriti Iran, who in turn referred it to the institution for appropriate action.
Mr Sharma noted the disciplinary action against Mr Vemula and another student was taken by the university even before the Ministry's communication to it in this regard.
"It is unfortunate that Rahul Gandhi is doing politics over suicide. Congress has stooped to such a low that it is doing politics over the death of a student. We reject any such demand (of resignation) outright," Sharma, accompanied by another party secretary Sidharth Nath Singh, told reporters.
They noted that the HRD Ministry had already sent a committee to inquire about the incident and it will soon submit its report.
Earlier, BJP general secretary P Muralidhar Rao alleged that Vemula's suicide has been made into a political issue by "Congress, a section of media and some groups with vested interests".
"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.
Suicide of Rohith Vemula has nothing to do with Dalit issues or rights just because he was a Dalit. It is merely politicising of the issue.— P Muralidhar Rao (@PMuralidharRao) January 19, 2016
"Congress did gross injustice to Dr B R Ambedkar and harassed him all his life. Now Rahul Gandhi and Digvijay Singh championing Dalit cause!" Mr Rao said.
The BJP leader, who hails from Telangana, said the student's suicide note is self-revealing. "Connecting with incidents related to his ideological adversaries is baseless and orchestrated," he said.
Taking a dig at Mr Gandhi, Mr Sharma said he was a "part-time and non-serious" politician.