NEW DELHI(PTI): The Congress today climbed down from its demand for resignation of Union HRD Minister Smriti Irani in connection with the Dalit scholar suicide case but insisted on a probe by a sitting high court judge against her.
The party also demanded that Prime Minister Narendra Modi should “break his silence and take concrete action” in this case and sack Union minister Bandaru Dattatreya. Congress spokesperson Deepender Singh Hooda said that instead of apologising, Irani described the whole issue as Dalit vs non-Dalit, which is shameful.
“The culpability of Union HRD Minister Smriti Irani should be investigated by a sitting high court judge and the Union Labour Minister should be immediately sacked,” said Hooda. He also demanded immediate sacking of Hyderabad University Vice Chancellor Appa Rao and immediate withdrawal of suspension of four remaining Dalit scholars.
Congress leader and party spokesperson Kumari Selja had yesterday demanded that both Irani and Dattatreya should resign or else Modi should take action against the two by sacking them. Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi had also targeted Irani and Dattatreya yesterday saying the ministers and the VC have “not acted fairly” that forced the Dalit scholar to take the extreme step.
Incidentally, addressing a news conference today, Irani had also accused the Congress of trying to use the issue for political gains and referred to a letter written to the HRD Ministry by party MP Hanumantha Rao in September 2014 where he had talked about suicides by marginalised students in the university for over four years.