Nation Politics 24 Feb 2016 'I dare you to ...

'I dare you to tell my caste,' Smriti tears into Oppn over Rohith issue

Published Feb 24, 2016, 9:09 pm IST
Updated Feb 24, 2016, 9:20 pm IST
Will retire if any varsity VC accuses me of saffronising education, said Smriti Irani.
Smrit Irani accused the Opposition of politicising Rohith Vemula's suicide (Photo: Lok Sabha screen grab)
 Smrit Irani accused the Opposition of politicising Rohith Vemula's suicide (Photo: Lok Sabha screen grab)

New Delhi: Union Minister Smriti Irani on Wednesday said that she would retire from active politics if any vice-chancellor of a University accuses her of "saffronising education", while debating the Rohith Vemula suicide and JNU issue in the Lok Sabha.

"There still are many VCs appointed by UPA, I challenge that even if one of them says I do saffronisation I will leave politics," said a furious Irani, who hit out at the Opposition for politicising the death of Vemula.


"No attempt was made to take Rohith Vemula to a doctor, his body was used as political tool," Irani added.

"My name is Smriti Irani, I challenge you to tell my caste, you cannot tell."

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An emotional Smriti Irani said she had taken the issue personally and challenged the Opposition to prove that she had meted out justice based on the caste of a student.

"I am taking it personally and I will tell you why, I will tell you how they have used a child, I had called the Chief Minister KCR as soon as the I came to hear the news of Vemula's death. It's his government, I called to ask for assistance to prevent any law and order situation in the state. But my call was turned down, I was told 'sir is busy, he cannot talk now', and I am not making this up, my call is on record," she said.


Irani claimed that she had even spoken to KCR's daughter on the issue and that never received a call back from the Chief Minister.

Read: Left is the 'witch' in India's growth story: BJP in Lok Sabha

Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh addressed the Lok Sabha, right after Irani and lauded her for her speech.

"This speech by Smriti Irani not just an eye opener for the Lok Sabha but for the nation too".

Irani had earlier accused Rahul Gandhi of political opportunism and asked if he had ever gone to the same venue twice, as in the case of him visiting the Hyderabad University.


Rohith Vemula was a research scholar who was found hanging in a hostel room on the campus of Hyderabad University in January this year. His death soon took a political turn when a letter addressed to Smriti Irani from Union Minister surfaced, demanding action against Vemula and other students who were accused of beating up an ABVP leader.

Location: India, Delhi, Delhi