JNU row, Dalit scholar suicide rock Parliament
BUDGET SESSION Cong says govt crushing voices of dissent; BJP hits back
NEW DELHI: Parliament witnessed an acrimonious debate on Wednesday over the JNU row and the suicide of Dalit scholar Rohith Vemula, with the Opposition accusing the government of “mercilessly crushing” the principles of democracy and the ruling side justifying the action against students.
The charged discussion saw the entire House, including the Congress and the Left, condemning the alleged shouting of antinational slogans in the university campus though the BJP attacked Rahul Gandhi for his visit to JNU to express solidarity with arrested student leader Kanhaiya Kumar.
Initiating the debate in the Lok Sabha, Congress chief whip Jyotiraditya Scindia accused the government of fostering “an atmosphere of intolerance” and “crushing any voice of dissent” against the BJP and the RSS.
“This government’s philosophy is either my way or the highway,” Scindia said, as he led a fierce attack on the government and Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the two issues that had triggered a bitter political slugfest between the ruling coalition and the Opposition on university campuses and elsewhere.
Attacking Modi, Scindia said the PM had given the mantra of four Ds: democracy, demography, demand and deregulation. “But in the name of democracy, freedom of expression has been muzzled, our youth are on the roads in the case of demography, farmers are committing suicide in the name of demand and the independence of universities is being crushed in the name of deregulation,” the Guna MP said.
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(Above) Congress V-P Rahul Gandhi outside Parliament. (Right) PM Narendra Modi arrives for the session.