Members of the Osmania University Telangana Students Joint Action Committee on Friday said that the institute’s administration had succumbed to pressure from the ruling Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) government, to deny permission to Congress President Rahul Gandhi to speak at a seminar at the campus.
The OU administration had on Friday through a press release conveyed that Gandhi had been denied permission to speak at an apolitical seminar on education and employment, citing security concerns as he was “under special security coverage".
The seminar was on the topic ‘India and Telangana education and employment’. The students said that they will approach the Hyderabad High Court on Saturday morning seeking a reversal of OU administration’s decision to deny permission.
"We will be reaching out to the Hyderabad High Court Chief Justice and seek the court's permission. The seminar is on an apolitical topic and only research scholars and OU students will be in attendance. There would be no political leaders at the event," said Manvatha Rao, chairman of the joint action committee, and an NSUI leader.
"The OU administration has denied permission due to pressure from the TRS government. The security concerns being raised is a non-issue. That call has to be taken by the Hyderabad Police Commissioner. This denial of permission is just politics. We had paid Rs 25,000 to the OU administration to book the seminar hall. All student organisations expect the one backed by the TRS party are supporting us," he added.
The denial of permission comes a day after the Telangana Pradesh Congress Committee (TPCC) president N Uttam Kumar Reddy alleged that state government had initially denied Rahul Gandhi accommodation at Haritha Plaza and pressured the owners of the Hockey Ground at Nampally not to give permission for a public meeting.
“Osmania University initially agreed to let us organise the event at the hockey ground, but they declined later. Who must have pressured them? to decline now? Who is the one who is scared that Rahul will talk of security, safety, and welfare of minorities? Who is the one who is scared that Rahul will question unfulfilled promises like fee reimbursement to students, a job for every family? Everyone knows who weighed on OU to decline permission” Reddy was quoted by the Indian Express as saying.
The allegations made by the TPCC president come at a time when six Rajya Sabha members of TRS party voted for Harivansh Narayan Singh, the Rajya Sabha deputy chairman candidate fielded by the National Democratic Alliance (NDA). TRS had in the past extended their support to NDA candidates for both the President and Vice-president posts.
In Prime Minister Narendra Modi's speech on July 23 in the wake of the no-confidence motion against his NDA government, Modi had praised Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao for his developmental work. TRS had abstained from voting in the no-confidence motion raised by Telugu Desam Party (TDP).
Modi and KCR met on August 4 in an hour-long meeting in Delhi and are said to have come to agree on a post-poll alliance in the 2019 general elections, according to various media reports.