rohit vemula
Members of the Students Christian Movement of India and other activists stage a protest in Bangalore following the suicide of Rohit Vemula.Manjunath Kiran/AFP/Getty Images

BJP leader and Union Railways Minister Piyush Goyal alleged Congress party used Radhika Vemula, mother of deceased Dalit student and PhD scholar Rohit Vemula, for 'petty politics'. He demanded an apology from Congress president Rahul Gandhi.

Rohith Vemula allegedly committed suicide in January 2016. His death had sparked a political storm across India. 

Two days ago, some news reports claimed Radhika was promised to provide Rs 20 lakh by Indian Union Muslim League to build a house but the latter failed to fulfil it.

Basing on those reports, Piyush Goyal held a press conference in Delhi on Wednesday and hit out at the opposition parties. He said Radhika Vemula's grief was used for some "very low level of politics".

"I was anxious after reading Rohith's mother's statement. Until when will Opposition parties continue politics over it? The family is not financially stable and fake assurance of money was provided to a distressed mother for political purposes," Goyal was quoted as saying by FirstPost during the press conference.

He further added: "I received information that even Congress president Rahul Gandhi took Rohith's family to various stages (at rallies) and asked them to make statements. His intention should be exposed and it should be checked whether money was offered to the family for doing so. Rahul should apologize for doing petty politics on a pillar of lies."

However, even before Goyal's press meet, Radhika had claimed that she was not used for any political gains by IUML. She rubbished the allegations that suggested she was paid to criticize Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

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Union Minister Piyush Goyal.IANS

"It was my wish to speak against Prime Minister Narendra Modi and if needed I will speak again in any of their meetings," Radhika said.

IUML had reportedly sent two cheques of Rs 2.5 lakh to Vemula's family. However, one of those cheques had bounced, as per reports, but Radhika Vemula said it was not bounced but was rejected due to an error.

"If the IUML has given its word, we will stick to it. I heard the news that a cheque of Rs 20 lakh that was given to Rohith's mother, bounced. This has not come to the notice of any of our leaders yet," IUML leader MK Muneer was quoted as saying by ANI.