Union Minister V.K. Singh on Saturday targeted JNUSU president Kanhaiya Kumar for calling Rohith Vemula his inspiration, alleging that the Dalit scholar had organised a meeting in support of Mumbai blasts convict Yakub Memon.
"I read in newspapers today that a JNU student leader says that he does not draw inspiration from Afzal Guru but Rohith Vemula. I told myself that Rohith Vemula too had organised a meeting for Yakub Memon.
"Are we with those people who encourage terrorism and who abuse India?" he told a convention of BJYM, the youth wing of BJP.
At a time when BJP has been trying to play down the row over the suicide of Dalit scholar Rohith Vemula in Hyderabad university, Singh's remarks could fuel the controversy further as the Minister questioned his "support" for Memon, who was hanged for his role in Mumbai blasts.
Kumar, out on bail in a sedition case, had said on Friday that he considers Rohith an inspiration and not Afzal Guru, the Parliament attack convict in whose support slogans were allegedly raised at a JNU event prompting the police action.
Singh called upon the youth workers to spread nationalism and tell people how to take the country ahead when "fissiparous forces" are at work.
The Minister of State for External Affairs also spoke at length about the Modi government's foreign policy and said the government had succeeded in strengthening its relations with many countries, including neighbours like Nepal, Bhutan and Myanmar.
Every country wants Prime Minister Narendra Modi to visit it due to his popularity, he said.