With hurling of footwear as a sign of protest against politicians becoming a trend, students wearing chappals were denied entry for an interaction with Rahul Gandhi at a local college on Tuesday.
Securitymen and officials turned away chappal-wearing students wanting to take part in the interaction at Panjabrao Krushi Vidyapeeth at the main gate itself by way of precaution, sources said.
The Congress general secretary was on a day-long visit to Maharashatra as part of his country-wide tour for connecting with students and youth.
Authorities later however allowed entry of students wearing chappals but by that time a number of them had returned.
The media was strictly barred from entry into the auditorium. Scores of print and visual media correspondents who rushed to Akola from Nagpur to catch up with Rahul on his first stop of the state tour, had to spend hours standing on the street and rely on the versions of the students and faculty who trooped out after the event.
Even the government publicity department staff was not allowed inside. Strangely, the next two events of the day — NSUI meetings at Aurangabad and Pune — did not have such restrictions on media presence.
Interestingly, even bigwig politicians met the same fate as they were also stranded outside and had no entry into the hall.
During the interaction, Rahul asked youth to join politics in greater numbers.
"If you are interested in politics you can join. We need younger generation to lead people," he said.
Rahul at his interaction with about 400 students faced a volley of questions ranging from farmers suicides in Vidarbha to the need for a separate Union Budget for Agriculture like Railways.
(With PTI inputs)