NEW DELHI(PTI): Congress on Friday dismissed as “crocodile tears” Prime Minister Narendra Modi voicing his grief over the suicide of Rohith Vemula, saying he has failed to utter a word on any action against Union ministers Smriti Irani and Bandaru Dattatreya.
“We all respect the Prime Minister. We humbly want to say that shedding crocodile tears will not return Rohith Vemula or do justice” to the situation arising out of the suicide of the dalit scholar in Hyderabad University, party’s chief spokesman Randeep Surjewala said.
Dubbing the HRD minister as the “biggest culprit” in the matter, he said that the Prime Minister has “disappointed” the whole country by “not uttering a word about any disciplinary action, any legal action” against Irani and Dattatreya.
“The Prime Minister has poured cold water on hopes of a concrete action by not sacking Irani, Dattatreya and the Vice Chancellor,” he said adding that “shedding crocodile tears or turning sentimental” do not help in addressing the problem of injustice against Dalits.
Singling out Irani for attack, he lamented that the “person who is herself guilty has not found time to go the University and meet mother and family members of Rohith”. Alleging that the government was shielding those in the ABVP and others known for their anti-Dalit attitude, he wanted Prime Minister to apologise to dalit youths for failing to protect them.
Surjewala’s sharp reaction came close on the heels of Prime Minister breaking his silence on the issue in Lucknow and voicing his grief over the suicide. The Congress leader also dismissed HRD Ministry’s decision to constitute a judicial commission and orientation programmes.
“It is a shoddy attempt to brush aside the fundamental issues leading to the suicide of Rohith Vemula in Hyderabad Central University,” he said.
Another senior Congress leader Kapil Sibal took to Twitter to attack the Prime Minister on the issue.
“Too little too late Mr Modi. If you feel the mother’s pain show how you will make amends considering the conduct of your Ministers,” he tweeted.
At the Congress briefing earlier, party General Secretary Mukul Wasnik lambasted the government for its conduct in the matter.
“To add fuel to the fire and belittle the memory of Rohith, Vice-Chancellor Appa Rao, instead of being sacked, is additionally appointed as Acting Chairperson of ‘National Council of Rural Institutes’ by HRD Ministry,” he said.