Row at Allahabad univ escalates, Oppn targets Irani again
After Hyderabad Central University and Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), Allahabad University was at the centre of a row that escalated on Tuesday with eight Opposition parties targeting HRD Minister Smriti Irani over alleged harassment of its student’s union president, accusing her of acting like ABVP’s “patron saint”.
“We are agonised over the fact that the first-ever lady president of Allahabad University Student’s Union Richa Singh, a PhD scholar, is being harassed by the administration...,” the parties that included Congress, Left and AAP said in a joint statement.
CPI general secretary S Sudhakar Reddy separately asked the BJP-RSS combine to “keep off” Allahabad University, alleging that the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) students’ wing Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) was trying to “saffronise” it after “targeting” JNU and HCU, and sought action against those trying to “create tension” at its campus.
KC Tyagi of JD(U) raised the issue of the “authoritarian attitude” of Allahabad University vice-chancellor during Zero Hour in Rajya Sabha, saying Richa Singh had written to all MPs on the matter and about gender insensitivity.
“First, we saw the sacrifice of Rohith, then the Kanhaiya episode and now Richa Singh episode is in the process,” he said.
Drawing parallel with dalit scholar Rohith Vemula's suicide in Hyderabad University and the JNU row involving Kanhaiya Kumar's arrest, leaders from the eight parties in the joint statement trained their guns on Irani, reminding her that she is a minister of the entire country and not just the RSS and BJP.