The office-bearers of the Jawaharlal Nehru University Students’ Union (JNUSU), along with over a hundred supporters, will camp in Varanasi from April 29 and campaign against BJP’s PM candidate, Narendra Modi.
The JNUSU currently has office-bearers from the Left-backed All-India Students’ Association (AISA). They added they wouldn’t mind if their campaign benefited AAP leader Arvind Kejriwal, who is challenging Modi in Varanasi.
In a statement issued from New Delhi, the JNUSU has appealed to students, teachers and others from JNU to join their campaign against Modi.
Talking to The Indian Express over phone, JNUSU secretary Sandeep Saurabh said: “We want to tell people that, while the UPA government crossed limits of corruption, a corporate-led Modi is not a feasible alternative. His campaign is backed by corporates, who have ‘manufactured’ consensus about him.”
Saurabh added that their team would be distributing nearly two lakh pamphlets explaining how crony capitalism is behind the “so-called Gujarat model of success”.
“We will also be going door-to-door not only in cities but also in nearby areas. The number of our supporters and volunteers will increase after May 5, when some examinations get over,” he said.
The statement said people should not be willing to treat Modi as the messiah for “good governance”, while forgetting his alleged crimes in the 2002 Gujarat riots.
It alleged that Modi’s popularity was nothing but “media-manufactured-Modi-mania”, and added that Modi, with his background of hate politics, would be a worse alternative than the Congress.
“The corporate was angry with the Congress, so they are portraying Modi as the new leader. However, there is not going to be any change at the policy-making level. Therefore, we want Modi to be defeated,” said Saurabh.
When pointed out that their argument was similar to that of Modi’s challenger, Kejriwal, and, therefore, such activities would help the latter in his campaign, Saurabh said: “We want Modi defeated. Kejriwal is challenging him. If he gets benefited in the process, so be it.”
AAP spokesperson Prerna Prasad said: “There has been no official communication from them. In a democracy, everybody has a right to campaign in favour or against anybody. We have nothing to comment at this stage.”
In another development, general secretary of Kashi Vidyapeeth’s students’ union, a member of Congress-backed National Students’ Union of India (NSUI), has written to administration and the Vice-Chancellor demanding Modi’s helicopter should not be allowed to land in the institution on the day of his nomination (April 24).
“It is an academic institution and, therefore, it should not be used for political purposes. We will protest, if the permission is not withdrawn,” said Vikas Singh, the general secretary.
Modi will first land in Banaras Hindu University and then fly to Kashi Vidyapeeth, from where he would launch his road show.
However, NSUI office bearers said they are not aware of any such plans. “It may be his initiative. We are not planning any such thing,” said Vijay Jaiswal, NSUI vice-president of Purvanchal region.