File Photo
File Photo

Gandhinagar : Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi on Friday held the Centre responsible for the murder of Hyderabad University Dalit student Rohith Vemula. “I have said it in Hyderabad earlier and I am saying it here again that he did not commit suicide he was murdered”, he added.

Rahul made this assertion while speaking at the Dalit Shakti Kendra(DSK), a vocational training centre for Dalits at Sanand near Ahmedabad. The Congress vice-president was there to receive giant national flag measuring 125 feet by 83 feet which had been woven by Dalit artistes which was to be handed over to chief minister Vijay Rupani but was turned down by his government citing ‘lack of proper space’.

Taking the BJP government to task Gandhi said that the BJP lacks place in their heart for the national flag. “You talked of removing untouchability. Yes it needs to be removed not only from society but from the hearts and minds of Indians which was what Dr Ambedkar wanted to do. Tell me what has the BJP government done for the Dalits in the last 22 years in Gujarat, precious little. I was in Hyderabad when the Vemula incident happened and here when the Una lynching of Dalits took place”, he added.

Gandhi, who is on a two day visit of Gujarat, expressed confidence that the Congress would come to power in the state and promised a responsive government, against the present one which is working for a handful of industrialists. “Modiji tells you his ‘mann ki baat’ but nobody listens to your ‘mann’ ki baat. We promise a government that will not only listen to you but also factor in your needs”, he said.

Addressing a largely attended rally of fishermen in Porbandar on Friday, Gandhi said that if the Congress comes to power, it will set up a separate ministry of fisheries pointing out that the BJP cannot give a Rs 300 crore subsidy to fishermen but has no problem in waiving off Rs one lakh crore in debt to big business houses.

“It is these industrialists who are marketing for the Modi government. See their state of affairs, a BJP worker is speaking about your demands from a Congress platform here. My friend it is your government, your PM and your CM but now since you have come to us and we are going to win in Gujarat, I promise we will listen to you”, Gandhi said pointing to Bharat Modi, a leader of fishermen and until recently a BJP leader.

Rahul who arrived in Porbandar in the morning visited the birth place of Mahatma Gandhi before addressing the fishermen.

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