Allahabad: A group of BJP leaders on Thursday charged the Vice Chancellor of Allahabad University with "mishandling" the ongoing agitation by office-bearers of the students' union, who have been opposing the varsity administration's decision to conduct entrance tests for post-graduate courses through the online mode.
"We are of the view that the crisis at AU is to be squarely blamed on the mishandling by the Vice Chancellor who could have prevented things from going out of hand by simply giving a patient hearing to the students' union leaders," the group comprising Lok Sabha members Vijay Sonkar and Mahendra Nath Pandey, MLAs Suresh Kumar Khanna and Krishna Paswan, MLC Laxman Acharya and city unit president Shashi Varshney told reporters.
They said, "While the decision to conduct entrance tests online, in the light of the Digital India initiative, has to be appreciated, the VC failed to understand that the students' union leaders were never opposed to the same. They were merely demanding that the offline option also be kept open since many aspirants come from backward regions where there is not sufficient internet connectivity."
"One cannot find fault with such a demand. In fact, it would have been wise to keep both online and offline options open for a few years before switching over completely to computerised system. "The VC also compounded the problem by calling the police which led to the unfortunate instance of lathi charge on protesting students. He may have intended to maintain order on the campus but has ended up disrupting the same," the leaders said.
"We hope good sense prevails over the varsity administration and the reasonable demands of the students are accepted and the police complaints against them withdrawn. We will also be raising the issue in the Parliament and the UP Assembly. Besides, a report containing our findings will be placed before the party high command," they added.
Incidentally, the BJP leaders swung into action on a day when the issue of lathi charge on agitating students here was raised in the Rajya Sabha where CPM member Tapan Kumar Sen condemned the police action on agitating students and received support from a number of fellow MPs.
Trouble has been brewing on the campus since Saturday when AU students' union president Richa Singh, vice-president Vikrant Singh and general secretary Siddharth Singh "Golu" and their supporters were stopped from entering the VC's office before whom they wished to submit a memorandum.
A police complaint was also lodged against the students' union leaders by the varsity administration and though there has been no FIR or arrests so far, a police party lathi charged the agitators when they resumed their stir on Monday.
Again, on Tuesday, when the protesters began a hunger-strike in front of the VC's office, they were dragged outside by the police. Interestingly, Richa, who fought and won the union polls last year as an Independent and joined the Samajwadi Party recently, has been otherwise at loggerheads with other union office-bearers all of whom belong to the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP).
Recently, she had even accused the varsity administration of victimisation on the basis of complaints by her opponents in the ABVP. However, attempts by the varsity administration to crush the agitation with an iron fist appears to have compelled the students' union leaders to bury their ideological differences and put up a joint fight.
Updated Date: May 06, 2016 07:54 AM