The controversial sedition charges against some students in the country’s premier Jawaharlal Nehru University is no more confined to a political battle between the BJP, Congress and the Leftists. Other parties too, have tuned in.
Most of these parties have questioned the hurried arrest of the JNU students’ union president Kanhaiya Kumar and demanded proof of sedition.
Senior Samajwadi Party (SP) leader and one of the founder members of the party, Dr CP Rai maintained Kumar did nothing “anti-national”. He had even participated in a march from Delhi’s the Mandi House to express solidarity to him. The SP leader added: “BJP-RSS is engaging in jingoism to divert attention of public from real issues and the union government’s failures”.
Trinamool Congress, which is backing the BJP’s bid to pass the GST Bill in the upcoming session of parliament, sounded bitter over the BJP’s “over-reaction” by beating up students and journalists. Former union minister and Trinamool’s Lok Sabha MP Saugata Roy said, “The BJP has spoiled the case.”
The BJD, which is widely perceived as an outside supporter of the BJP, also maintained there is no justification to resort to violence. According to BJD’s Lok Sabha leader Bhartruhari Mahtab, “What happened outside the court was sheer hooliganism by Sangh elements and also showed sheer callousness of the Delhi police.” Mahtab maintained no anit-India slogans can be tolerated but admitted that the issue will rock the upcoming budget session.
Earlier, RJD chief Lalu Prasad, Bihar chief minister and JD(U) leader Nitish Kumar and BSP boss Mayawati had slammed the BJP over the JNU row. Prasad said, “The Centre should take action on the basis of the probe report. An innocent person must not be victimised without any reason.” Nitish Kumar had demanded proof against Kanhaiya Kumar:
Mayawati questioned the BJP on its alliance with the PDP in J-K. pointing out that the PDP considers Afzal Guru a ‘martyr’, she said, “Can the NDA leaders clarify what kind of nationalism is this”