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BSP members force RS adjournment twice over Vemula suicide


New Delhi : BSP members today forced two adjournments of the Rajya Sabha till noon, creating an uproar over the suicide of Dalit student, Rohith Vemula, and demanding resignation of Union Ministers alleging they were linked with the incident.

Even though a discussion on the issue was listed for today, Mayawati (BSP) wanted a response from the government to her demand for resignation of the union ministers allegedly linked to the suicide, sacking of the Vice Chancellor of University of Hyderabad and inclusion of a Dalit member in the judicial committee probing the suicide.

The government said it was ready for an immediate discussion followed by a reply by the concerned minister.

But the BSP members were not satisfied and shouted slogans after trooping into the Well, forcing Deputy Chairman P J Kurien to first adjourn the House for 10 minutes and then till noon.

Raising the issue, Mayawati (BSP) said the suicide by the Vemula, a Dalit student of the Hyderabad University, was a matter of grave concern.

“Since the time BJP came to power at the Centre, nefarious means are being used to impose RSS ideology,” she said adding that prestigious institutions like Hyderabad University, Aligarh Muslim University, Jamia Milia and Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) are interfered with.

Suicide by Rohith is not the first and many Dalit students have committed suicide in past including when Congress-led UPA was in power at the Centre, she claimed.

She said the Dalit students had formed a Babasaheb Ambedkar Students Union after their exploitation was not addressed by the unions affiliated to the BJP and Congress.

This was not liked by RSS and the exploitation continued, driving Rohith to commit suicide, she alleged.

Without taking names, she demanded that two Union ministers linked with interfering with the affairs of the Hyderabad University should resign and the VC of the University be sacked. She also demanded the inclusion of a Dalit member in the judicial committee probing into the issue.

She insisted that the government must respond to her demands before the discussion listed is taken up.

With government insisting that a response will be given after the discussion, BSP members trooped into the Well of the House shouting anti-government, anti-RSS slogans.

“Dalit virodhi yeh sarkar nahi chalegi, nahi chalegi (anti-Dalit government will not be tolerated)”, “BJP-RSS murdabad, murdabad (down with BJP-RSS)”, they shouted.

Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said if the House agrees, a discussion on the issue can be taken up immediately. Kurien too agreed that a discussion can be taken up immediately if the House agrees.

But Mayawati insisted on a response to her demands first, with Naqvi saying “We are not running away from debate.”

Kurien said subject raised by Mayawati is already included in list of business and can be taken up now and the government will reply to it.

But BSP members were unrelenting, forcing him to adjourn the House for 10 minutes.

After the brief adjournment when the House met again, Mayawati wanted to know from the government if there would be a Dalit member in the inquiry committee.

To this, Deputy Chairman Kurien said “don’t take the House to ransom”. As BSP members trooped in to the Well, Naqvi said a discussion would take place on the issue and the government cannot reply to questions in bits and pieces.

“After the debate the Minister will intervene and reply. (It is) not possible to answer each member,” he said.

As BSP members kept shouting anti-government slogans, Naqvi said “(this is) is a frustrated agenda”. He also said the government was ready to start the debate immediately.

CPI(M) leader Sitaram Yechury said Mayawati has raised a simple question and the government should reply to it.

Leader of Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad said his party too demands inclusion of a dalit member in the probe panel.

Amid sloganeering by BSP, HRD Minister Smriti Irani said the opposition was using a “dead child” (Rohith) as “a political tool and strategy.” She too said asked the opposition to start the discussion on the issue “right now”.

As the Minister was speaking, Mayawati too joined her party colleagues in the Well. Kurien then adjourned the House till noon.

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