While Bengal CPI(M) and Congress wait for a nod from their central leaderships for an electoral alliance before the crucial assembly polls, leaders of both parties will march in Kolkata on Monday in protest against the arrest of the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) student union president on sedition charges by Delhi police.
On Saturday, Kanhaiya Kumar’s arrest snowballed into a political free-for-all. Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi and CPI(M) secretary Sitaram Yechury joined protesters on the JNU campus demanding Kumar’s immediate release.
CPI(M) state committee member Sujon Chakraborty, former Kolkata mayor Bikash Bhattacharya, Rajya Sabha MP Ritabrata Banerjee, and Congress leaders professor Omprakash Mishra, an alumnus of JNU, Abdul Mannan, Arunava Ghosh, Sukhbilas Barma are among those who will protest.
“We will bring out the protest march from College Square to Rani Rashmoni Avenue around 4pm. BJP and RSS are forcing people to follow their narrow ideology. They are targeting freedom of speech and expression everywhere. JNU has become their latest laboratory,” Mishra said. “Let’s march in defence of freedom and in favour of campus democracy.”
“The arrest of the JNU student union leader is unjustified. All sections of peace loving and pro-democratic forces, students, teachers and political workers irrespective of their party affiliations are invited to join the march,” Chakraborty said.