Rahul to visit PU tomorrow; student bodies see politics, slam the move
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Even as Punjab's National Students' Union of India (NSUI), the students' wing of the Congress, and the students' council of Panjab University is all set to welcome Rahul Gandhi on campus, it faces stiff objections from various other student bodies.
Rahul Gandhi, General Secretary of the All Indian Congress Committee (AICC), is scheduled to visit PU on October 11. However, according to various student bodies, his visit is a political affair and should not be associated with the University.
Interestingly, among those protesting are Students' Federation of India (SFI) and Students' Organisation of India (SOI), who are allies in the students' council of the University.
While the SFI is the students' faction of the Communist Party of India (CPI), SOI is associated with the Akali Dal. The two parties, as well as Panjab University Students' Union (PUSU) and Akhil Bhartiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) have, in separate memorandums submitted to the Vice-Chancellor on Tuesday, threatened that if the visit was not cancelled, they would start an agitation against it.
Opposing the visit of the Congress general secretary, SFI chief Prabhpreet Singh said Gandhi neither held an important political post, nor was he a professor or researcher who was being invited to campus to interact with the students. PUSU leaders submitted that the function would lead to disturbance of classes, as the event was being organised very close the University library and other departments.
ABVP, on the other hand, mentioned that if the rally was not stopped, then permission should be given to them, as well, to invite Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) national leaders on campus on October 12. ABVP leader Dinesh Chowhan said, "We will invite our national leaders Sushma Swaraj or Arun Jaitley to the campus, and want the same treatment and permission that has been granted to the NSUI". Other parties claim that for an event organised by a party which is not in power in PU, the Law auditorium should be allotted for a function, not the main ground.
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