PU polls: Rivals target SFS for its stand on Article 370
With Panjab University Campus Students Council (PUCSC) polls just round the corner, incumbent party Students for Society (SFS) finds itself in a corner with other rival parties asking it to explain its stand on the abrogation of Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir and participation of Kanupriya, PUCSC president, in a demonstration on August 15 calling for a referendum in Punjab.
Rival parties are leaving no stone unturned in branding SFS as anti-national.
The SFS had protested on campus over the abrogation of Article 370 of Jammu and Kashmir on August 5, which had been opposed by its rival, the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP).
Many parties are allegedly raking up these issues in classrooms during their election campaigns.
“We have strongly criticised their (SFS) protest against the abrogation of Article 370. We are against them as they are provoking students against the government and disturbing ‘balance’ in PU,” says Parvinder Singh Katora, secretary ABVP PU .
Several social media messages being circulated on campus also criticise SFS for its stand on various issues. A poster shared by ABVP on September 3 exhorts students to ‘think before voting,’ asking them, ‘do you vote for the ideology that is celebrating August 15 as black day?’
Kanupriya on August 15 had participated in a protest which was also attended by Sikh groups calling for a referendum in Punjab.
“They may be against some party but they should not go against the country. We cannot say that this country is not independent but they say India is not independent and that is reprehensible,” says Pardeep Gujjar, senior National Students Union of India (NSUI) leader .
Commenting on the attacks on her party, Kanupriya says, “They do not have any achievements on the basis of which they can contest elections. Maybe that is why they are bringing up these issues against us. There was a lot of confusion earlier but we have clarified matters. During our campaign many students have even questioned us over our stand but we have given answers. We have ushered in many changes on campus and they have no option but to spill venom against us.”
Chetan Chaudhary, presidential candidate of the Students’ Organisation of India feels no party should play politics with such issues in the campus. “Focus on student related issues. We should think about the betterment of the university and its students and refrain from creating a volatile atmosphere on campus,” he advises.