Modi’s remarks on student’s suicide disappointing: Congress

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New Delhi, Jan 22 (IANS) The Congress on Friday said Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s remarks on the suicide of Dalit scholar Rohith Vemula have “deeply disappointed” the country as he did not announce action against union ministers Smriti Irani and Bandaru Dattatreya.

Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala told reporters here that concrete action needs to be taken to do justice to the memory of Vemula, a student of the Hyderabad University who committed suicide last Sunday.

“We want to humbly tell the prime minister that mere crocodile tears will not return Vemula or do justice to him. For doing justice, for eroding anti-Dalit mindset of ABVP, BJP, concrete action will have to be taken,” Surjewala said.

He said the entire youth of the country, the Dalits and underprivileged section stand disappointed with Modi’s remarks.

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Surjewala said the party had hoped the prime minister would announce “sacking” of Human Resource Development Minister Smriti Irani and Labour Minister Bandaru Dattatreya and also action against the university vice-chancellor.

The Congress has been demanding removal of Irani from the cabinet for “misleading” people about the suicide of the Dalit research scholar and resignation of Dattatreya, saying he had written a letter after which HRD ministry “exerted pressure” for expulsion of five Ph.D. Dalit students from the cabinet.

Surjewala said there was also s hope that the prime minister will announce compensation and job for the family of the student who committed suicide.

“But Modi did not say anything. The entire country stands disappointed deeply,” he said.

Modi on Friday said he was deeply saddened by the tragedy. In his speech at the sixth convocation ceremony of the Babasaheb Bhimrao Ambedkar University in Lucknow, he choked and paused while referring to the scholar’s death on last Sunday.

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