Accusing Rahul Gandhi of using students as a “political tool”, BJP today said he was shedding “crocodile tears” over a Dalit scholar’s suicide and mocked his day-long fast, saying he was used to gatecrashing into protests of others and shunning his own responsibilities.
Several union ministers and BJP leaders lashed out at the Congress vice president over his protests at the Hyedrabad Central University for “doing politics” over the death and wondered why he offered no condolences when nine Dalit students of the institute ended their lives during the UPA rule.
Union Minister M Venkaiah Naidu said Rahul never bothered to visit the campus or offer condolences when nine students committed suicide and asked opposition parties to wait for the report of the judicial commission probe ordered by the Centre.
“Congress is shedding crocodile tears simply to gain political mileage. Congress and communist parties are trying to make this a political issue and making a beeline to the university, forgetting that 9 such incidents happened during the UPA rule. This is part of their anti-Modi campaign across the country,” he told reporters.
Another Union Minister Nitin Gadkari said Gandhi was trying to make the Hyderabad varsity a den of political activity.
“The government has set up a judicial commission and peace has come to the Hyderabad campus. At such a time, Rahul Gandhi is doing politics there. While seeking to side with students, he should not make the university a den of political activity.
“He should not do any agitation and should think about the future of students there, that is my appeal to him,” he said.
Rural Development Minister Birender Singh took a potshot at Congress, saying the party reduced from 206 MPs to 44 MPs was “politicising every issue” and there was nothing new in it.
BJP national secretary Shrikant Sharma said the Congress’ protests reflected the opposition party’s “frustration” as its leaders Sonia Gandhi and Rahul besides most Congress chief ministers were facing corruption charges.
“At a place where students go to study, Rahul Gandhi is trying to vitiate its atmosphere. It shows how much frustrated Congress is that it is doing politics over a student’s death. Such a divisive politics is poisonous and BJP condemns it,” he said.
At a press conference, party spokesperson Sambit Patra said Rahul’s fast was a classic case of trying to score “political brownie points over a tragedy”.
“Rahul Gandhi’s characteristic way of functioning was to shun responsibility and gatecrash into others’ protests... The way he has shown insensitivity is the reason why I say he and responsibility cannot travel together,” he told the media.
Accusing the Congress leader of being “selective”, he said Rahul had chosen not to speak about the Malda violence and the Warangal Congress leader accused of killing his daughter-in-law.