BJP takes a dig at Rahul on UoH visit

BJP takes a dig at Rahul on UoH visit
Several Union ministers and BJP leaders on Saturday described Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi’s second visit to the University of Hyderabad (UoH) within a span of two weeks as an attempt to gain political mileage out of an unfortunate incident, the suicide of Dalit scholar Rohith Vemula.

Rahul, who undertook a day-long fast along with the agitating students, said Rohith was killed by the “same forces that killed Mahatma Gandhi”.

Union ministers and BJP leaders accused him of  “doing politics” over the death and wondered why he offered no condolences when nine Dalit students of the institute ended their lives during the UPA rule.

Parliamentary Affairs Minister M Venkaiah Naidu said Rahul never bothered to visit the campus or offer condolences when nine students committed suicide.

He told opposition parties to wait for the report of the judicial commission probe ordered by the Centre.

“The Congress is shedding crocodile tears simply to gain political mileage. The Congress and communist parties are trying to make this a political issue and making a beeline to the university, forgetting that nine such incidents happened during the UPA rule,” he said.

Union Minister Nitin Gadkari said Rahul was trying to make the Hyderabad university a den of political activity.

“The government has set up a judicial commission and peace has come to the Hyderabad campus. At such a time, Rahul Gandhi is doing politics there. While seeking to side with students, he should not make the university a den of political activity. He should not engage in any agitation and should think about the future of students there, that is my appeal to him,” he said.

Rural Development Minister Birender Singh said the party that was reduced from 206 MPs to 44 MPs after the Lok Sabha polls is “politicising every issue” and “there is nothing new in it”.

BJP national secretary Shrikant Sharma said Rahul’s protests reflected his party’s “frustration” because its leaders were facing corruption charges.

BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra said it is not a Dalit versus non-Dalit issue but a classic case of trying to score political brownie points. “Rahul Gandhi’s characteristic way of functioning was to shun responsibility and gatecrash into others’ protests... The way he has shown insensitivity is the reason why I say he and responsibility cannot travel together,” he said.

Patra added that Rahul had chosen not to speak about the Malda violence and the Warangal Congress leader accused of killing his daughter-in-law.

Defending Rahul, Congress spokesperson Ajay Maken said, “Union Minister Dattatreya wrote to HRD Minister Irani against the Dalit students following complaint from the ABVP president. The HRD minister wrote as many as five letters to the university. If this is not politicisation, what else is?”

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