"Have you ever seen Rahul Gandhi go to one spot twice?"
"My name is Smriti Irani, I challenge you to tell me my caste"
"I did my job and I will not apologise"
Union minister Smriti Irani, citing a Jawaharlal Nehru University report on Wednesday, said that JNU student "Umar Khaild misled the university administration saying that he was organising a poetry reading event".
"Umar Khalid misled the JNU administration. He said in an application form that he was organising poetry reading," Irani told the Lok Sabha during a discussion.
She also said Dalit research scholar Rohith Vemula's body was used as a political tool.
"In his statement, Rohith Vemula said that no one was responsible for his death. No attempt was made to take Rohith Vemula to doctor, his body was used as political tool," she added.
Taking a dig at Congress on the Rohith Vemula issue, Irani said: "The executive council that took the decision to suspend Rohith was appointed by Congress."
In an emotionally surcharged speech in the Lok Sabha, Irani said she was taking all the allegations personally.
"My name is Smriti Irani. I challenge you to tell me my caste. No one can raise a finger against me on this issue. I am taking it personally," an emotional Irani said.
Irani refuted allegations that she had pressured the university with multiple letters on Rohith Vemula's case.
The minister also alleged that Rohith Vemula was used for politics by parties like the Congress and the ruling Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) of the state.
"I have been asked with what authority do I write letters to universities. I did my job and I will not apologise. Communications received from MPs should be attended to promptly to and followed within 15 days," she said, alleging that she had received letters from opposition members too.
She further said: "I have said it time and again not to make education a battlefield. Have you ever seen Rahul Gandhi go to one spot twice? No, he saw a political opportunity here?"
"Even Indira Gandhi lost power, but his sons never supported the slogans raised advocating 'destruction of India'," Irani added.