NDA ally the Shiv Sena on Saturday joined the Opposition in taking on HRD Minister Smriti Irani over her inept handling of Dalit scholar Rohith Vemula's suicide and controversy in JNU.
The Congress, JD(U) and the CPM said that they were going to bring privilege motion against Smriti for “willfully misleading” both the Houses with her half-truth allegations in the Vemula case and the JNU episode.
“The HRD minister has not only been economical with truth but has also wilfully misled Parliament on the unfortunate suicide of a young Dalit student, Rohith Vemula,” said Congress general secretary Mukul Wasnik.
CPM leader Mohd Saleem will give a notice to the Speaker on Monday seeking action against the minister, who is adamant on the stand she took in Parliament, for breach of privileges. While JD(U) member K T S Tulsi will do the same in the Rajya Sabha on Monday.
The Sena is disappointed over the handling of Vemula's suicide and said Smriti's statements were “confusing” and she could have avoided reference to “Goddess Durga” while speaking in Parliament.
“The kind of statements that the HRD minister is giving is confusing. First, you say something, later you withdraw, this should not have happened. The way this issue has been handled, it had several shortcomings and that is why its repercussions are felt in the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha,” said Sena leader Manisha Kayande.
She felt that Smriti could have avoided the hurry to make statements and specifically mentioned that “the reference of Durga in Parliament was out of context and it could have been avoided.”
Smriti’s spirited reply in Parliament to a debate on Vemula’s death and JNU controversy was liked by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and he tweeted “Satyameva Jayate!” while tagging her speech.
Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi took a jibe at Modi for appreciating Smriti’s speech and counter-tweeted that “Satyameva Jayate! Modiji do hear these words of Rohith Vemula's mother”.
Rohith’s mother Radhika wondered how many more deaths should take place for the government to deliver justice.
Manisha Kayande, SENA leader: The kind of statements that the HRD minister is giving is confusing. First, you say something, later you withdraw, this should not have happened. The way this issue has been handled, it had several shortcomings