Opposition Congress today attacked the Narendra Modi government over suspension of five non-teaching staff of Delhi University, saying the move smacked of "high-handedness" and was a precursor to the way the Centre wanted to conduct the affairs of the nation.
"Now this smacks not only arrogance but it smacks of high-handedness. May be it is a precursor on the manner in which this government wants to conduct the affairs of the nation," party leader Manish Tewari said.
He said "such vindictive or vengeful action against subordinate officials is something which...deserves to be corrected".
Five DU staff were yesterday suspended for allegedly leaking purported documents relating to undergraduate admission of HRD Minister Smriti Irani and her admit card following a row over her educational qualifications. Irani has since asked the University to "reinstate" them.
Congress General Secretary Digvijay Singh also attacked the government over the suspension, wondering whether it believed in transparency.
"5 officials of Delhi University suspended for leaking HRD Minster's educational qualification details! Does this Govt believe in transparency," Singh tweeted.
Taking a potshot at the government, he said, "ACHHE DIN AA GAYE HEIN. Would anyone stand up for the suspended officials of DU?"
Congress had launched a broadside against Irani soon after she assumed charge as HRD minister, alleging that she was "not even a graduate".
Singh, however, welcomed her appeal to DU vice chancellor to revoke their suspension and quipped, "Thanks Smriti for appealing to VC DU for reinstating DU officials. Now let people of this Country know your actual Educational Qualification."
Tewari also demanded that the minister should explain the correct position over her educational qualification and discrepancies in the declarations made in the affidavits before the elections authorities.
"Different declarations have been made by HRD Minister in different affidavits. An affidavit is a sworn legal document. It has a certain legal sanctity.
"Since there are discrepancies between various affidavits, I think it is incumbent upon the minister to explain the correct position," he said.