Maya, Yechury puncture Smriti’s claims
Mayawati on Friday said she was not convinced by HRD Minister’s statement with regard to Rohith Vemula’s suicide and asked whether she would implement her two-day-old statement about “chopping off” her head.
The issue related to the suicide by Vemula, a Dalit student of Hyderabad University, also led to a war-of words between Irani and CPI(M) leader Sitaram Yechury.
Mayawati, who has been pressing for the inclusion of a Dalit in the panel probing Vemula’s death, lashed out at the government for appointing a one-man judicial Commission of former Allahabad High Court judge Ashok Kumar Roopanwal.
“To my question whether a Dalit member is part of the Commission, the government has not answered this so far. On February 24, I had asked this question and it has not been answered so far. Justice Roopanwal is from the upper caste. Government’s intention is dubious on this,” she said.
She added that as per the laws, the government can increase the strength of the commission, and add a Dalit member, but it has not done this so far, which shows its intentions towards the Scheduled Castes.
Yechury also took on Irani for quoting certain Facebook posts purportedly written by Vemula which were critical of the CPI(M) leader and accused her of making “all foul fair”. He questioned the authenticity of the Facebook account that she had claimed to be that of Vemula.
“Can a Facebook account be authenticated?... Can ‘quotes’ from the ‘cyberspace’ be permitted without the same being authenticated,” he questioned and insisted that nothing should go on record in the House without it is authenticated.
At this juncture, the Finance Minister Arun Jaitley stepped in, saying “every word” read out by Irani has been authenticated by the Registrar of the University.
Yechury said the government had got these authenticated by the Vice Chancellors and Registrars who are appointed by them.
The CPI (M) leader further said: “Yesterday she (Irani) quoted from Macbeth saying fair is foul and foul is fair. She is making all foul fair without giving any authentication.” Deputy Chairman P J Kurien assured Yechury that he will look into the documents and check their authenticity.
Earlier, replying to questions raised by Mayawati on Vemula not getting fellowship payments, the HRD Minister said the Dalit scholar’s last fellowship payment was stopped as he was asked to file some documents.
Irani also termed as “baseless” the allegations that no one from the Scheduled Caste is a member of the Hyderabad Central University’s Proctorial Board.
She said Vemula’s mother had spoken to her and sought a judicial inquiry and she had assured her that the government has set up a judicial commission, which is probing into the circumstances that led to Vemula committing suicide.