ABVP’s national convention to be held at a government college in Indore later this month has sparked a row with the opposition Congress describing it as “saffronisation of educational institutions”.
The convention of ABVP, the student’s wing of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, is scheduled to be held between December 24-27 at Atal Bihari Vajpayee Government Arts & Commerce College.
“Premises of government educational institutions cannot be used to propagate political agenda of any political groups,” said Ashwin Joshi, a former Congress MLA and an alumnus of the college.
“College authorities have given permission to hold the event and the district collector has sanctioned Rs 1.5 crore through Janbhagidaari Samiti for giving a facelift to the campus, which is against the principles of the constitution.”
More than 6,000 ABVP members are likely to participate at the event where yoga guru Ramdev is expected to be the chief guest.
District collector P Narahari has misused his power by sanctioning money through Janbhagidaari Samiti’s fund, Joshi said, adding that the fund should be used for welfare of educational institutes and elevate the standards of education.
A city-based social activist, meanwhile, moved a public interest litigation before the Madhya Pradesh high court against the collector’s move. The court has issued notice to authorities.
When asked about the allegations leveled against him, the district collector just said the “matter is subjudice”.
Vipin Wankhede, the president of National Students Union of India (NSUI) state unit, said allowing a political event on a government college campus clearly shows that the BJP wants to saffronise the educational institutions.
“Will the government or district administration allow and fund us to hold a political event on a government college campus,” he said. NSUI is the student wing of the Congress.
Nalini Joshi, the acting principal of the college, told Hindustan Times that the ABVP had obtained permission to hold the event and paid `50,000 as rent to the college for five days.
Advocate Anand Mohan Mathur said, “At many earlier instances, the Supreme Court held that government educational campus cannot be used for any political purposes. It is unlawful on the part of district administration and college management to favour a political group.”