While expressing anguish over the lathicharge made on students of Himachal Pradesh University (HPU), who were protesting against the fee hike and delay in election to the Students' Central Association (SCA), former chief minister Prem Kumar Dhumal on Monday accused the Congress government of harming the cause of the students in the state.
He said there was no fun in resorting to indiscriminate lathicharge on students who were peacefully protesting for their demands.
Dhumal alleged that whenever the Congress government came to power in the state, it tried to ignore students because they never allowed the NSUI, the student's win of the Congress, to come to power in HPU as well as other colleges of the state. He said students had every right to protest.
The senior BJP leader said earlier it was Rashtriya Uchchattar Shiksha Abhiyan (RUSA) and now the fee hike had created wave of resentment among students and their parents.
He said the chief minister should invite students for talks and end the stalemate that had rocked the state since the starting of current academic session of the university and its affiliated colleges.
Dhumal said: “Instead of dealing students with lathis and sending them to jail, the government should treat them like their own sons and accept their demands before the situation becomes tense.”
He also blamed the state government for not giving adequate grants to run the universities in the state. He said instead of creating posts of chairpersons, vice-chairpersons and advisors to the chief minister and putting additional burden on the state exchequer, money should be utilised for the development of the state.
The BJP leader also accused the state government of trying to curtail the powers of the Panchayati Raj Institutions (PRIs). He said in a democratic set up, the opposition had the main role to perform along with the ruling party and whatever the government was doing that was against the democracy and its norms. He said the party would protect the rights of its members and support them even by coming on roads to protect their rights.
District BJP chief Vijay Agnihotri was also present on the occasion.