Indian Express

Rajnath cuts short speech, Tandon fails to address as students chant NaMo, NaMo

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BJP president Rajnath Singh with sitting MP Lalji Tandon in Lucknow on Sunday. (Pramod Singh) BJP president Rajnath Singh with sitting MP Lalji Tandon in Lucknow on Sunday. (Pramod Singh)

BJP president Rajnath Singh and over 300 students attending his conference on Sunday found themselves holding the same thread but still could not share the common platform after the students’ repeated interruptions, bordering on anarchy, resulted in Singh abruptly winding up his speech.

Singh, who is BJP’s Lucknow candidate in the ongoing elections, was addressing a conference at the auditorium of an educational society organised by teachers and former students of Lucknow University in association with the BJP’s youth wing Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad.

In his address, Singh made sure to touch upon “the honour” of the youths that largely comprised his audience. His invocation of freedom fighters Chandra Shekhar Azad and Ashfaqullah Khan who “sacrificed their lives in young age for the honour and freedom of the nation” found resonance in the gathering’s perennial slogans in support of BJP’s prime ministerial nominee Narendra Modi, ignoring requests by Lucknow mayor Dinesh Sharma, Lalji Tandon and Singh himself to keep silence. Tandon even had to return to his seat without delivering a speech.

In the time that Singh did speak, he criticised the outgoing Congress-led UPA government at the Centre for “not protecting the honour of the youths” and “maintaining silence when Pakistani troops barbarously beheaded Indian Army jawans at the border” or “when China intruded Indian territory”.

“Congress should not think that the Indian army jawans are weak. If our jawans are given orders, no country can dare to look at the Indian territory,” Singh said, adding that the youths of the country “have taken a pledge to make the nation free from Congress”.

Singh also invoked former Prime Minister and five-time MP from Lucknow, Atal Bihari Vajpayee, saying his government had successfully conducted the nuclear test despite opposition from other developed countries.

In criticising the Congress’s failure in using the country’s rich resources, Singh cited his proficiency in Physics, Chemistry and Social Science-related concepts, crediting his stint as a teacher.

“Law of gravitational force was not given by Newton, but its concept was developed in India. Likewise, Pythagoras theorem was described by Bodhayan of India,” the BJP leader said.

But the students’ interruptions via slogans forced Singh into finishing his speech early, although he did leave with a promise to return to “some intellectual students” post the elections to answer queries about his concept of “integrated and comprehensive development of nation and development of the country as a super economic and spiritual power”.

His departure from the venue was followed by a minor scuffle between two groups of students.

Singh had earlier held meetings with Chartered Accountants, Company Secretaries and representatives of various NGOs.

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