The first working day of the Budget session of Rajya Sabha was a washout on Wednesday with the House failing to transact any business due to the continued uproar created by BSP members, led by their chief Mayawati, over the suicide of Dalit student Rohith Vemula. Amid repeated adjournments, tempers ran high whenever the House met for brief periods and even saw clashes between Mayawati and HRD Minister Smriti Irani who accused the opposition of using a “dead child” (Rohith) as “a political tool and strategy”.

However what set the day apart from the rest of charged speech in defence of BJP government by HRD Minister Smriti Irani. 

Here are some of the highlights of her speech in Lok Sabha

1. No attempt was made to take Rohith Vemula to doctor, his body was used as political tool. 

2. In his statement, Rohith Vemula said no one was responsible for his death.

3. Have you ever seen Rahul Gandhi go to one spot twice? No, he saw a political opportunity here [Rohith Vemula’s suicide]. 

4. If I mention Chanakya, they will say it is ‘saffron’. Hence I quoted a Roman philosopher in my speech. 

5. I have said it time and again that ‘Shiksha ko ranbhoomi mat banao. (Don’t turn education into a battleground). 

6. I am not certifying your idea of India. But do not demean mine. 

7. There still are many VCs appointed by UPA,I challenge that even if one of them says I do saffronization I will leave politics. 

8. “Meri naam Smriti Irani hain. Meri jaati kya hain bataon. (My name is Smriti Irani. I challegnge you to tell my caste.)

9. This[her speech] is not from Police, this is not from government and this is not from Arnab Goswami. 

Feature image source: PTI