Indore, Feb 22: Bharatiya Janata Party leader Varun Gandhi seems upset with his party for sidelining him during the Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections. From Dalit student Rohith Vemula’s suicide to farmer loans, Gandhi, it seems, has been hinting at hitting out against the BJP without naming the party.
While delivering a lecture on ‘Ideas for a new India’ at the Vidyasagar School in Indore on Tuesday, Gandhi said that while farmers are committing suicide, defaulters like Vijay Mallya are running away from the country with crores. “On one hand, almost 50,000 farmers have committed suicide as they are not being able to repay their loans and on the other hand Vijay Mallya has run away with thousands of crores and no action has been taken against him,” Gandhi said.
“The economic inequality is such that in Mumbai, more than 2 lakh people are forced to sleep on the streets, there is a 27-storey mansion for a family of four and that mansion costs some Rs 4,000 crore. It’s time for people to lead the change,” he added.
Talking about Rohit Vemula’s suicide, Gandhi even said that the student’s suicide note made him cry. “Rohit Vemula, a dalit Ph.D student from Hyderabad committed suicide last year. When I read his letter, I broke into tears. Rohit wrote that he was taking the extreme step because he had committed the sin of taking birth in such form. This line pained my heart immensely,” he said.
Gandhi also referred to an incident pertaining to discrimination with Dalits, which had occurred in Tikamgarh in Madhya Pradesh last month. “Seventy per cent kids in a school didn’t eat their lunch under the mid-day meal scheme for quite some time as the food was cooked by a woman belonging to a weaker section. What are we teaching our kids? After all, where is this country and world heading for,” he asked. “Dr Bhimrao Ambedkar had said we don’t need political democracy but social democracy. His thought was way ahead of his time,” the BJP leader added.
Gandhi even praised the Right to Information Act (that was brought by the UPA government), saying that the Act has helped bring down corruption in the country.
There have been reports that Varun Gandhi has been upset with the BJP over being sidelined. He was also not part of the star campaigners’ list realeased by the BJP for the Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections 2017.
In 2009, contesting his maiden election from Pilibhit for the BJP, Varun Gandhi had landed in Etah prison for three weeks for a purported hate speech.