Is civic polls behind politicisation of Rohith's suicide?

Is civic polls behind politicisation of Rohith's suicide?

Does the Hyderabad municipal elections due on February 2 have anything to do with the politics being played out over Rohith Vemula’s suicide? A section of the BJP at least thinks so.

Party sources said the TRS government, which is contesting the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) polls for the first time, was trying to paint the BJP as anti-Dalit by making Union Labour Minister Bandaru Dattatreya an accused in the case.
The minister, who is a Yadav by caste, which falls under the OBC category, is also an MP from Secunderabad.

The 150 GHMC wards have a sizeable Dalit votes. Of them, 10 wards are reserved for schedule castes (SCs). Prior to the bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh, giving birth to Telangana, the Hyderabad corporation politics was dominated by the Congress and All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM). 

But, the TRS is trying to get a toe-hold among voters belonging to the underprivileged sections of the society.

A BJP general secretary said the K Chandrashekhar Rao government’s move to get an FIR registered against Dattatreya was “politically motivated” since there was no connection between Rohith committing suicide and the minister’s letter to the HRD Ministry, which was essentially to seek response on a complaint filed by Hyderabad Central University’s ABVP member Sushil Kumar.

Kumar was allegedly attacked by Ambedkar Students’ Association when he along with other ABVP members objected to their protest against hanging of Mumbai terror convict Yakub Memon.

“On what basis did they file an FIR against the Union minister? If at all they had to do, it should be on the basis of the suicide note of the student,” said the BJP general secretary on condition of anonymity.

There is not an inkling of evidence in the suicide note that the BJP or the minister played any role in forcing Rohith to take this extreme and unfortunate step, said party sources.

In the tussle for extracting political mileage, the Bahajun Samajwadi Party (BSP), which is also contesting the Hyderabad local body polls, also plunged along with other prominent leaders, including Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi.

While condemning the incident, former Uttar Pradesh chief minister and BSP supremo Mayawati said: “The attitude of two senior ministers in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Cabinet towards the Dalit scholar that ‘if you are against the policies of the BJP government, you are an enemy of ours and will be harassed through government terrorism,’ is blatantly undemocratic and condemnable.”

BJP leaders said attempts to drag Dattatreya into the case is the latest in a trend of accusing the party of being either anti-caste or religious minorities. The party sources said that prior to Delhi elections, the Opposition charged that churches were being attacked, but after a probe it turned out to be different. Similar “outlandish allegations” were made in a Dalit family feud case of Faridabad in Haryana, sources added.

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