Delhi

BJP wants to make JNU an election issue: Kanhaiya

Second from left: CPI(M) leader Sitaram Yechuri, CPI general secretary D. Raja, Swaraj Abhiyan chief Yogendra Yadav and All India Progressive Women's Association secretary Kavita Krishnan at a public meeting on JNU campus on Tuesday.

Second from left: CPI(M) leader Sitaram Yechuri, CPI general secretary D. Raja, Swaraj Abhiyan chief Yogendra Yadav and All India Progressive Women's Association secretary Kavita Krishnan at a public meeting on JNU campus on Tuesday.   | Photo Credit: Sushil Kumar Verma

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‘The party has no work to show or a chief ministerial face to project ahead of the Delhi Assembly polls’

Former Jawaharlal Nehru University Students’ Union (JNUSU) president Kanhaiya Kumar alleged that the January 5 attack on the university was an attempt to create an election issue for the BJP as it did not have much work to show or a chief ministerial face to project ahead of the Delhi Assembly elections.

“It has been four years since the February 9 incident in JNU and they did not manage to prove anything. Now, just ahead of the Assembly elections, Home Minister Amit Shah brought up the issue on Monday at a public event as he wants to make JNU an election issue by defaming it and divert attention from the real issues,” Mr. Kumar said. A sedition case has been filed against Mr. Kumar and others for slogans raised on the campus during an event on February 9, 2016, against the hanging of Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru.

Mr. Kumar was speaking at a meeting organised by the JNUSU and the JNU Teachers’ Association (JNUTA) that took place on campus after a solidarity march taken out by JNU alumni.

Several other alumni of the university spoke at the public meeting. Former JNUSU chief and CPI (M) leader Sitaram Yetchury said that he headed the union during the Emergency and at that time also the fight was in defence of democracy and the Constitution. He alleged that on the night of the attack, he visited AIIMS where BJP MP Meenakshi Lekhi and other senior BJP leaders were ensuring that some members of the ABVP were admitted to the hospital so that they could say that the violence happened on both sides.

“I salute the doctors at AIIMS who did not succumb to such pressure and treated those who really needed medical care,” Mr. Yechury said, while encouraging the students to keep their struggle alive. “It is an extreme form of patriotism to defend the Constitution... if there is anybody who is anti-national, it is the government.”

“Modi-Shah duo, please remember that JNU students sent back Indira Gandhi during the Emergency and did not let her enter campus and ensured that she was defeated in the elections soon after due to the students’ movement. We can do it to you as well,” Mr. Yechury said.

AIPWA secretary Kavita Krishnan said that the Delhi Police is quick to lathi charge JNU and Jamia Millia Islamia students but provide safe passage to masked attackers.

D. Raja, Yogendra Yadav, Bezwada Wilson and Sharmishta Mukherjee also spoke at the event and said that the attack on JNU students was an attack on the minds of reason and critical thinking.

Several JNU alumni were not allowed on campus after their march as the university shut the gates.

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Printable version | Jan 25, 2020 12:23:35 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Delhi/bjp-wants-to-make-jnu-an-election-issue-kanhaiya/article30507409.ece

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