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Smriti Irani to be Opposition target in Parliament

February 28, 2016 21:45 IST

HRD Minister Smriti Irani is likely to be the target of Opposition attack this week in Parliament where Rahul Gandhi will lead the Congress charge against the government on Tuesday while participating in the debate on the Motion of Thanks on the President's Address.

After the Budget Session began on a note of confrontation last week, the second week of the session is also unlikely to transact legislative business, barring essential financial exercise like the Union Budget, as the government and opposition are again set to lock horns on issues like the JNU row and Dalit scholar Rohith Vemula's suicide.

While Monday is likely to be a relatively calm day in both the Houses on account of the Budget, Tuesday will test the governments' floor management.

Escalating the battle, major opposition parties have decided to press for a privilege motion against Irani over her remarks in Parliament on Vemula's suicide.

Accusing Irani of "wilfully misleading" Parliament, Congress, Communist Party of India-Marxist and Janata Dal-United have planned to bring a privilege motion against her in both the Houses.

Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad in Srinagar said Irani's statement inside the Parliament over Rohith Vemula case had many contradictions and was a "fit case" for a privilege motion as she had "mislead" the nation.

CPI-M leader Mohammed Salim will on Monday give a notice for bringing privilege motion against Irani in Lok Sabha, while JD-U MP K C Tyagi and nominated member in Upper House K T S Tulsi will give a similar notice in Rajya Sabha on Monday.

Alleging that the HRD minister has "not only been economical with truth but has also wilfully misled Parliament" on the unfortunate suicide of Vemula", Congress general secretary Mukul Wasnik said the party planned to bring privilege motion against her soon.

They have cited the outburst of Radhika, Rohith's mother, against Irani and accused the BJP of being anti-Dalit.

Radhika had attacked the HRD minister, questioning on what basis did she declare Rohith to be "anti-national".

Wasnik said it was believed that the HRD minister would try to "heal" Rohith's family but instead Irani has "rubbed salt" into their wounds.

In a sharp riposte to Prime Minister Narendra Modi over his 'Satyamev Jayate' tweet following Smriti Irani's speech in Lok Sabha, Rahul Gandhi on Saturday requested him to hear the version of the mother of Vemula, the Dalit scholar who committed suicide in Hyderabad.

On Saturday, Vemula's mother Radhika and his brother met political leaders including Sonia Gandhi, Sitaram Yechury and K C Tyagi, seeking their support for enactment of a Rohith Act against caste discrimination in educational institutions.

They were accompanied by the leaders of HyderabadUniversity's Joint Action Committee for Social Justice.

On the JNU row, opposition parties had on Friday sought an apology from Irani for reading out in Rajya Sabha "objectionable" comments made outside against a Hindu goddess. 

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