New Delhi: The government on Tuesday countered the Opposition's attempts to corner it over the JNU row with Union Minister M Venkaiah Naidu saying it had "nothing to hide and nothing to worry" and that the country is concerned over what happened in the university.
Speaking to reporters on the first day of the Budget session, Naidu also touched on a Dalit scholar's suicide in Hyderabad university, another issue picked by the opposition to attack the government, and said 10 students had ended their lives in the institute during the UPA rule.
"Who did it? Who created such an atmosphere?" he shot back when asked about criticism of the government over the issue.
Referring to the JNU row, he said, "What happened in JNU has disturbed the country. Slogans were being shouted against the country and in favour of the neighbour (Pakistan). People are disturbed. Let there be debate. We have nothing to hide and nothing to worry. We have no hesitation in discussing any issue."
He also rejected as "disinformation" that the government was considering closing down JNU.
"Some objectionable things happened there. Now to cover it, some people are defaming the institute. This is utter disinformation and part of propaganda to target the government. A few students met me with this apprehension. It is absolutely wrong. No such question arises," he said.
Noting that the basic purpose of an university is academic excellence, he said the government wanted to strengthen this in JNU.
Some BJP MPs, including Meenakshi Lekhi, have given notice in the Lok Sabha for discussion on the JNU issue and also on deposition of Pakistani American terrorist David Headley in which he had said Ishrat Jahan, who was killed in an alleged fake encounter in Gujarat, was a LeT operative.
Asked about RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat's remarks that there should be an apolitical body to look into the reservation issue, Naidu said he does not explain on what the Sangh leader states and that the government will do what it has to.