New Delhi: Scholar Rohith Vemula's suicide in Hyderabad University shows the "anti-Dalit attitude" of the central government, the Congress said on Thursday. "HRD Minister (Smriti Irani) and the BJP have justified the death of Vemula. It shows their anti-Dalit attitude," Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala told the media here.
He said instead of apologizing and rectifying the mistake, the Bharatiya Janata Party and the HRD minister came out in support of those who drove Vemula to kill himself on Sunday.
"The Congress demands the resignation of Smriti Irani," he said. "She lied to the nation," he added, referring to her press conference on Wednesday.
The Congress spokesperson also asked Irani if she agreed with her ministerial colleague Ramvilas Paswan' suggestion that there should be an inquiry into the scholar's death. Surjewala demanded a job and adequate compensation for Vemula's family from the state and central governments.
Irani on Wednesday said the suicide of Vemula was not a "Dalit versus non-Dalit issue" and that there was a "malicious attempt to project it as a caste battle".
Vemula was one of the five Dalit students suspended from the hostel on charges of assaulting a leader of the ABVP, the student wing of the RSS.