‘Chappals’ frowned upon at Rahul Gandhi event!September 7th, 2010 - 5:48 pm ICT by IANS
Nagpur (Maharashtra), Sep 7 (IANS) Several students of the Panjabrao Deshmukh Agricultural University sported shoes - many probably for the first time - for “security reasons” during an interaction Tuesday with Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi in Maharashtra’s Akola town.
The measure followed apprehensions by his security detail about permitting those wearing ‘chappals’ (rubber slippers) at the meeting - probably in view of the recent trend of hurling footwear at politicians in India and abroad. Officials of the Congress or police were not willing to comment on the issue.
The university authorities, however, offered to take full responsibility for the behaviour of the students and, accordingly, a few who wore chappals were permitted inside the venue.
Rahul, who flew in from New Delhi, interacted with around 500 students, mostly post-graduates, including a few female students and engaged in a wide-ranging discussion over several issues.
Among the topics he touched upon - and mostly sought students’ views - were politics, education, agriculture and corruption, a party office-bearer said.
“The meeting was informal, the mood casual and the response of the students was very enthusiastic,” a party office-bearer told IANS.
As per Rahul’s instructions, no politicians or media persons were allowed in the meeting, which lasted nearly 75 minutes, before he proceeded by helicopter for Aurangabad, around 400 km away, where he was to address a meeting of students and youth. Next was another similar meeting in Pune, before returning to New Delhi in the evening.
Party office-bearers say that Rahul’s interactions with the youth and students are aimed at attracting them to the National Students Union of India, the student wing of the Congress party.
The NSUI is scheduled to hold internal elections and through his meetings, Rahul is seen as offering students the option of joining politics through the party’s student wing.
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