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Smriti Irani, Mayawati slugfest in Rajya Sabha over Vemula’s death


New Delhi: Union Human Resource Development Minister Smriti Irani and Bahujan Samanj Party supremo Mayawati on Friday indulged in a political slugfest in the Rajya Sabha over Dalit student Rohith Vemula’s suicide.

Irani, responding to Mayawati’s charges, denied that Vemula was not given any fellowship money and that he was pushed towards his death.

“This impression (that Vemula was not given fellowship money) is not correct,” the minister said, adding he was given some money latest on November 20, 2015.

The minister also denied Mayawati’s contention that there was no Dalit on the panel investigating Vemula’s death.

“It is incorrect that there is no member from the scheduled caste community on the inquiry committee,” said Irani.

However, Mayawati was not satisfied and again accused the government of being “anti-Dalits”.

The former Uttar Pradesh chief minister said that the inquiry panel was a “farce” and aimed at saving people with “Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh links who abetted the research scholar’s suicide”.

Mayawati also accused Irani of “indulging in drama” and not doing anything for Vemula’s family.

Reacting to the BSP leader’s accusations, Irani said “Mayawati was not interested in justice but politics”.

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