Escalating the battle in Parliament, major opposition parties on Saturday said they will bring privilege motion against Unoin HRD minister Smriti Irani over her remarks in Parliament on the suicide of dalit scholar Rohith Vemula in Hyderbad central university.
Congress along with CPM and JD(U) accused Irani of “willfully misleading” Parliament, hitting back at the minister who had targeted Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi and the Left during a debate on JNU and Hyderabad University controversies.
“The HRD minister has not only been economical with truth but has also willfully misled Parliament on the unfortunate suicide of a young Dalit student, Rohith Vemula”, Congress general secretary Mukul Wasnik and senior spokesperson Selja alleged.
Wasnik told reporters that the Congress planned to bring privilege motion in the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha soon, while CPM leader Mohd Saleem said he would be doing so on Monday.
“I will be giving a notice for breach of privilege against Irani to Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan for misleading the House on Rohith Vemula issue,” Saleem said.
JD(U) leader and Rajya Sabha MP KC Tyagi said that he and nominated member KTS Tulsi will give privilege notice against Irani to Chairman Hamid Ansari on Monday.
“There are contradictions in many statements of Irani regarding Rohith Vemula case. This is a fit case of breach of privilege,” Tyagi said.
They cited the outburst of Radhika, Rohith’s mother, against the HRD minister and accused the BJP of being anti-dalit.
Radhika had attacked the HRD minister questioning as to on what basis did she declare Rohith to be anti-national? “Your ministry had written that my Rohith and other Dalit students were anti-national extremists. You said that he is not a Dalit. You accused him of getting a false certificate.”
They alleged that these strong words from a mother “who has lost her son to BJP and in particular the HRD minister’s campus politics is a stamp of how recklessly and ruthlessly their party is hell bent on clamping down the voices of dissent.”
The HRD minister had also insinuated that Rohith is “not a Dalit”, they said adding that this claim has also been rubbished by Radhika.
Wasnik said that it was believed that the HRD minister would try to “heal” Rohith’s family but instead Irani has rubbed salt on their wounds.
Congress spokesman Manish Tewari said Irani was “too clever by half and then you get caught in your own web and that’s exactly what has happened to the HRD minister”.
“She has been extremely creative and economical with truth and that is why she will face a privilege motion,” he said.