Rahul Gandhi's visit to Panjab university kicks up row

Oct 10 2012, 20:02 IST
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SummaryStudents organisations are divided on whether or not Rahul should be allowed to hold a rally in the campus.

Congress General Secretary Rahul Gandhi's scheduled visit to Panjab University campus for an interaction with students has kicked up a row.

Students organisations are divided on whether or not Rahul should be allowed to hold a rally in the university campus.

The visit has been organised by the National Students Union of India (NSUI), the students' wing of Congress party.

Gandhi is scheduled to address students from Panjab University and colleges in Chandigarh and Punjab as part of his two-day visit to the state.

Panjab University Student's Union (PUSU) has said political functions cannot be allowed in the campus and questioned the decision of the university authorities to allow the rally.

A PUSU statement read here today "we will protest against the decision to allow Rahul Gandhi's rally here."

Rahul is expected to reply to questions from students on subjects ranging from politics, education, corruption and Foreign Direct Investment (FDI).

Though the PU Campus Students' Union (PUCSC), the official students' body in Panjab University, has not said anything on the controversy around Rahul's visit, two student bodies the Students Organisation of India (SOI), a political wing of Akali Dal and the Students' Federation of India (SFI), a CPI students wing - are objecting to his visit.

Both these organisations are part of the ruling alliance in PUCSC, which is led by Students of Panjab University (SOPU). SOI President Gurpreet Singh said "we joined hands with SOPU for a strong students union in the campus. We are not interested in such political events."

Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP), a frontal organisation of BJP, said since Rahul was allowed to address students, authorities must also allow top BJP leaders to do the same.

SFI Chief Prabhpreet Singh said Rahul neither held an important political post nor was he a professor or reseacher who was being invited to campus to interact with the students.

ABVP leader Dinesh Chouhan said "we will invite BJP national leaders Sushma Swaraj or Arun Jaitley to the campus."

Meanwhile, tight security arrangements were made by police, the city administration and PU authorities for Rahul's visit, officials said.

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