NEW DELHI: A major row has erupted over the cancellation of Congress leader Rahul Gandhi’s proposed visit to Hyderabad’s Osmania University.
Rahul Gandhi, who was expected to visit the university on May 7 to interact with the students, was on Sunday denied permission by the officials to visit the campus.
The decision left the grand old party outraged, with several student Congress activists staging protests in and around the university campus on Monday.
Fuming over the cancellation, Telangana Congress president Revanth Reddy alleged that chief minister K Chandrasekhar Rao “pressured” the university authorities to deny permission to Rahul Gandhi’s meeting.
The university, however, said the visit was cancelled due to various reasons, including the university’s Executive Council passing a resolution last year not to allow any political activity on the campus.
A university official added that election of some employees unions have been scheduled, examinations for certain courses were underway and a section of students are also preparing for recruitment tests recently announced by the state government.
NSUI activists arrested
Following the university’s refusal of permission to Rahul, the party’s students’ wing (National Students Union of India-NSUI) held angry protests on Sunday.
A group of activists allegedly pelted stones at the main door of the varsity’s administrative building, which led to the arrest of 18 protesters.
Telangana Congress president Reddy said Rahul is now planning to meet the arrested NSUI leaders on May 7 to speak to them on issues faced by students.
The state Congress president said a letter has been submitted to the jail superintendent seeking permission for Rahul Gandhi to meet the arrested NSUI leaders.
On Monday, more NSUI activists staged protests at the university campus over the denial of permission to Rahul as well as the arrest of their fellow leaders.
The protesting NSUI members, who raised slogans against the TRS government and the university authorities, were also taken away by the police.
Meanwhile, Congress shared a letter written by OU Registrar to Koturi Manavatha Roy — one of the applicants for Gandhi’s meeting. The letter said it was not feasible for the university to accord permission for the meeting.
(With inputs from agencies)