BJP defends Dattatreya as JD(U), BSP jump into dalit bandwagon

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Criticising the Congress for politicising the suicide of research scholar Rohith Vemula, parliamentary affairs minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi on 19 January accused the Congress of exacerbating the tense situation.

“Rahul Gandhi and the Congress party must condemn such acts. Instead of soothing the wounds they are rubbing salt into them. I condone this behaviour,” said Naqvi.

Defending labour minister Bandaru Dattatreya, who has been charged with abetting the suicide of the Dalit scholar, he said he has always been “compassionate” towards dalits, according to ANI.

“Dattatreya has been fighting all his life for the rights of dalits and backward classes. He is so compassionate towards them. Making allegations against such a person is akin to playing bad politics. Dattatreya should not be targeted,” said Naqvi.

Dalit leaders within the party have also targeted him. In a tweet, party leader Sanjay Paswan said, “The stakeholders of power politics must take note of Vemula saga or face wrath, revenge, revolt and reactions.”

While this was so, political parties such as the Congress, JD (U) and the Bahujan Samaj Party have seized the incident to target the ruling BJP.

Going on the offensive, Congress spokesperson Kumari Selja said both Irani and Dattatreya should give their resignation or the PM should take action against the duo. She said the HRD Minister has “misguided” the whole country.

Irani wrote several letters on the particular issue and Dattatreya went against the dalit students to support ABVP, which worsened the situation.

Jumping into the burning issue, Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar said the Telangana government must properly investigate the matter and take action against the guilty. In a tweet, he said, “Deeply saddened at the suicide of Vemula in Hyderabad. The government must investigate the incident and act against those responsible.”