Join politics to develop India, Rahul Gandhi urges BHU students

January 10th, 2011 - 8:15 pm ICT by IANS  

Rahul Gandhi Varanasi, Jan 10 (IANS) Interacting with students of the Banaras Hindu University (BHU), Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi Monday asked them to join politics irrespective of their professional aspirations, saying youths’ participation will boost the country’s development.Meeting students from various streams at the Swatantra Bhavan on the campus, Gandhi asked them not to sideline their participation in politics for achieving their professional goals, according to those who participated in the meeting.

“He (Gandhi) said that it doesn’t matter if you want to become a doctor, an engineer or opt for any other profession… you all have a role to play in politics that would directly affect the development of the country,” said a student, who joined in the interactive session with Gandhi.

“His main focus was to persuade us to join politics. He told us that development and progress of the nation rest on us and this responsibility can be shouldered by joining the politics,” added the student, who is pursuing his engineering degrees from the BHU.

Media persons were not allowed to enter the Swatantra Bhavan during Gandhi’s interaction with students.

According to sources, Gandhi said nothing about the restoration of the students’ union polls in the BHU.

The elected union in the BHU was dissolved in 1997, 13 years ago, after the varsity witnessed poll-related violence.

Many students, including those having affiliation with the students wing of the Samajwadi Party (SP) and the Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS), created a ruckus on the campus before Gandhi’s arrival.

The protestors alleged that only selected students were allowed entry for Gandhi’s programme and that it was sponsored by the National Students’ Union of India (NSUI).

They also claimed that Gandhi was not serious about restoration of the students’ union polls in the BHU and, therefore, his interaction with the students should be viewed merely as a political stunt.

“It’s nothing than a political stunt…Had he (Gandhi) been serious about youth’s involvement in politics, he would have announced restoration of the students’ union,” Babul Prakash, a member of the RSS-affiliated Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP), told reporters.

University officials said Gandhi’s progamme was not “political”.

“It was a programme that was organised by the students’ council of the BHU. It should not be viewed as any political programme,” BHU spokesperson Rajesh Singh told reporters here.

As many as 60 students were detained for demonstrations on the campus before Gandhi’s arrival.

Gandhi is on a two-day visit to various districts of Uttar Pradesh to interact with students of colleges and universities.

He was scheduled to visit Allahabad to interact with city students later.

Gandhi would be visiting Lucknow, Jhansi and Agra Tuesday.

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