Oppn accuses govt of mobilising students for Rahul interaction

Principal Secretary claims he was doing his duty

Oppn accuses govt of mobilising students for Rahul interaction

Several questions were raised on Saturday, over the involvement of the State machinery in the organisation of a students’ interaction with AICC vice president Rahul Gandhi, also an MP, at the Central College, Bangalore.

While the Opposition has argued that the State government was being used by the Congress party in organising the event, top officials in the government state that it was doing so at the behest of the Centre.

Mount Carmel College, Jyothi Nivas College, Government Arts College, Government Science College, Vijaya SJP Polytechnic College and SKSJTI Engineering College, were some of the colleges that took part in the programme. 

Sources in the government said that last month, a letter was dispatched to the government by Sam Pitroda, the chairperson for the National Knowledge Commission, seeking the State to organise a students’ interaction for the Commission.

Accordingly, the State abided by the NKC directions and organised the event which the saw participation of Rahul Gandhi and also involved Commission member Nandan Nilekani.

Top government officials stated that they had to organise the programme as the directions came from a powerful person such as Pitroda.

Responding to a question raised by Deccan Herald, Higher Education Principal Secretary Rajneesh Goel said: “What is going on inside is a government event and we are just doing our duty.” He was camping outside the programme venue.

Close to 640 students from 10 to 12 colleges, of whom 120 students were from technical background and the rest from degree colleges, participated in the event.

Officials and principals from some of these participating colleges said that they were sent a communication from the Department of Collegiate Education, asking them to send at least 40 students each, from their institutions. A principal from a participating college said that he received direction from the DCE a week ago, although not in writing.

Earlier in the day, BJP spokesperson Suresh Kumar alleged that the government machinery was misused to organise a political event.

He said that as many as 40 students from each college were asked to mandatorily assemble with two teachers at the Government Arts College and were later taken to the Rahul Gandhi event.

He alleged that the officials of the Higher Education department co-ordinated the entire event. “The chief minister will have to give an explantation,” he said.

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