Row Over Rahul Gandhi's Visit to Osmania University, Students Go To Court

Mr Gandhi was expected to visit the Osmania University campus on May 7 for what the Congress has called a "non-political" interaction with the students.


A huge row has started over the proposed visit of Congress's Rahul Gandhi to Hyderabad's Osmania University. Mr Gandhi is due to visit Telangana on May 6 and 7 and was expected to address the students at Osmania university, among other programmes. The matter has now reached the court, with the students filing an appeal to get permission for Mr Gandhi's visit.

 Mr Gandhi was expected to visit the campus on May 7 for what the Congress has called a "non-political" interaction with the students.

But the university authorities have reportedly said Mr Gandhi cannot be allowed as no political activity is allowed on campus.

The University authorities pointed out that after a High Court order in June 2017, the university had adopted a resolution not to allow non-academic activities on campus, including political activity.

A part of the faculty, however, supports Mr Gandhi's visit. Professor of law G Vinod Kumar said it is not political but intellectual activity if Rahul Gandhi comes to discuss issues with students.

Congress leaders have interpreted it as the state's ruling Telangana Rashtra Samithi leaning on the university, meaning to keep Mr Gandhi away from an institution that is considered Ground Zero for the Telangana movement.

"Why are they stopping him? If Sonia Gandhi had not given Telangana, would you have become chief minister and minister? said Congress leader Hanumantha Rao".

"After the coming of Telangana, have the young people got what was promised -- jobs, fee reimbursement, what are your problems in hostel, he will ask. So KCR is stopping and arresting our activists and putting them in jail. It is wrong... it is not a public meeting. Students will tell Rahul Gandhi their issues,'' he added.

Yesterday, activists of the NSUI – the student wing of the Congress -- held protests at the campus against denial of permission. They were later detained by the police.  

Counter-protests were held by the student wing of the TRS and Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad, the students' organisation linked to the BJP's ideological mentor, Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh or the RSS.

Mr Gandhi will be addressing a public meeting in Warangal on May 6. Telangana Pradesh Congress Committee chief Revanth says the meeting is expected to be attended by nearly five lakh people.