Allahabad/Varanasi: Calling upon students to join politics irrespective of their
professional aspirations, Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi
Monday said the participation of the youth will not only boost the
country's development, but will also cleanse politics.
Gandhi's appeal came during his interactive sessions with the
students at the Motilal Nehru National Institute of Technology (MNNIT)
in Allahabad and the Banaras Hindu University (BHU) in Varanasi.
"A student at MNNIT asked the Congress general secretary why he
wants the students should join politics despite the fact that it
is a dirty affair. To this, he (Gandhi) smiled and said we all
should join politics to cleanse it," said a participant of the
interactive session held at the Rajiv Hall on the MNNIT campus.
According to the participants, Gandhi emphasised the role of
education in the country and said it was a potent tool that can
make India powerful.
"Rahul Gandhi said if proper arrangements are made to impart
education, particularly to the youth of the country, then India
would surely emerge as very a powerful country," said another
"He (Gandhi) said our country needs to tap its human resource
properly in order to give competition to other countries that have
developed more technologies than our country despite having less
human resource than ours," he added.
Gandhi's interaction with students at MNNIT lasted for nearly an
Earlier, interacting with students of the BHU, Gandhi asked them
to join politics irrespective of their professional aspirations,
saying youths' participation will boost the country's development.
Meeting students from various streams at the Swatantra Bhavan on
the campus, Gandhi asked them not to sideline their participation
in politics for achieving their professional goals, according to
those who participated in the meeting.
"He (Gandhi) said that it doesn't matter if you want to become a
doctor, an engineer or opt for any other profession... you all
have a role to play in politics that would directly affect the
development of the country," said a student, who was present in
"His main focus was to persuade us to join politics. He told us
that development and progress of the nation rest on us and this
responsibility can be shouldered by joining the politics," added
the student, who is pursuing his engineering degrees from the BHU.
Media persons were not allowed to enter the Swatantra Bhavan
during the session.
Many students, including those having affiliation with the
Samajwadi Chhatra Sabha, the students wing of the Samajwadi Party
and the Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS), created a ruckus on the
BHU campus before Gandhi's arrival.
The protestors alleged that only selected students were allowed
entry for Gandhi's programme and that it was sponsored by the
National Students' Union of India (NSUI).
They also claimed that Gandhi was not serious about restoration of
the students' union polls in the BHU and, therefore, his
interaction with the students should be viewed merely as a
"It's nothing than a political stunt...Had he (Gandhi) been
serious about youth's involvement in politics, he would have
announced restoration of the students' union," Babul Prakash, a
member of the RSS-affiliated Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP),
University officials said Gandhi's progamme was not "political".
"It was a programme that was organised by the students' council of
the BHU. It should not be viewed as any political programme," BHU
spokesperson Rajesh Singh told reporters here.
As many as 60 students were detained for demonstrations on the
campus before Gandhi's arrival.
Gandhi also faced protests from the Samajwadi Chhatra Sabha in
Raising slogans like "Go back Rahul" and "We don't want Rahul
here", several activists waived black flags at Gandhi and even
tried to stop his cavalcade in Dhoomanganj area. They were
protesting that Gandhi was "not being serious towards restoration
of students' union elections in central universities in Uttar
Gandhi is on a two-day visit to various districts of Uttar Pradesh
to interact with students of colleges and universities.
Gandhi would be visiting Lucknow, Jhansi and Agra Tuesday.