Portfolio change is no punishment for Smriti Irani, justice for Rohith Vemula is still awaited: Kanhaiya Kumar
Smriti Irani's two-year tenure in HRD Ministry was marked by controversies over Dalit scholar Rohith Vemula's suicide in Hyderabad and the JNU row.
New Delhi: A day after high profile Smriti Irani was shifted from the key HRD ministry to less significant Textiles portfolio, Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) student leader Kanhaiya Kumar on Wednesday welcomed the exit but said this was no "punishment" for the suicide of Dalit student Rohith Vemula.
"Justice for Rohith is still awaited. Cabinet reshuffle is not punishment… Bye bye Smriti Irani," the student leader said.
The JNU leader, is out on bail, said that Bandaru Dattatreya must be jailed for allegedly harassing Vemula, leading to his suicide.
The shifting of Irani, whose two-year tenure in the Human Resources Development (HRD) Ministry was marked by controversies over dalit scholar Rohith Vemula's suicide in Hyderabad and the JNU row, triggered speculation whether it was a tactical move to give a less important portfolio or to be left free to be the face of BJP campaign in UP Assembly polls due in 2017.
Vemula was a PhD student at the University of Hyderabad who committed suicide on January 17, triggering widespread protests against Smriti Irani and Dattatreya who were blamed for the suicide.
Five Dalit students, including Vemula, were suspended in September following a clash with a leader of the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP).