Voicing concern over the suicide of Rohith Vemula, a dalit scholar in Hyderabad University, a Parliamentary panel has favoured sending a delegation to the institution and also IIT-Chennai, to look into complaints of injustice and discrimination against dalit students.
At a meeting of the Joint Parliamentary Committee on the Welfare of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes chaired by BJP member Faggan Singh on Wednesday, members also raised strong objections over the absence of Secretaries of Petroleum department and Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited.
The Committee decided to approach Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan to complain about Secretaries allegedly “undermining” Parliamentary panels, besides seeking her nod for undertaking the tour to Hyderabad university and IIT-Chennai, which have been in news on the issue of alleged atrocities against dalits.
The agenda of the meeting was to discuss issues related to implementation of the reservation policy in Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited and organizations under the Petroleum Ministry.
However, since Secretaries of both department could not make it citing some engagements with Government, the panel could not take up the listed agenda.
Resenting it, the members asked why did the Secretaries not attend the meeting even as the agenda was circulated in advance and there was an important issue to be discussed.
This happened days after strong objections were raised in a meeting of another panel to the absence of Home Secretary, who was called by the Committee to give presentation on Chennai flash floods. Two Trinamool Congress members had even walked out from the panel meeting then.
“It is being noticed that Secretaries skip panel meetings on crucial occasions on one or the other pretext. This cannot be taken lightly. After all, a Parliametary panel is considered mini Parliament.
“Members raised strong objections to the absence of Petroleum and Telecom Secretaries from the meeting yesterday after which the Chair gave the assurance the issue with the Speaker and apprise her how the position of Parliamentary panels is being being undermined by them,” said a member of the Comittee on the condition of anonymity.