New Delhi: In further escalation of political row after the action over a flashpoint event at JNU, Congress on Tuesday said there is a state of "undeclared emergency" while BJP accused Rahul Gandhi of being a "principal misleader" of Indian politics after he accused it of muzzling the youth.
Gandhi on his part again trained his guns on the NDA government, saying, "They are suppressing the voice of students in Delhi, Hyderabad, Lucknow. We’ll not accept this, we will fight this."
"They are putting RSS VCs (Vice Chancellors) in every University and College, they are trying to suppress the voice of the students," the Congress Vice President told reporters in Sivasagar in Assam.
Seeking to derail any attempt by BJP to turn the protest against hanging of Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru on his third death anniversary at JNU campus into a battle between "patriots and anti-nationals", Congress also demanded that the Supreme Court should ensure an independent investigation.
"We will request the Supreme Court to ensure investigation by an independent agency into the (JNU) incident," Party leader and former Union minister Kapil Sabal told reporters.
Trashing the sedition charges against JNU Students Union president Kanhaiya Kumar after the Afzal Guru event, he wondered as to "how the Delhi Police could move in the matter when no investigation was done by the University authorities."
"It is a state of undeclared emergency with everyone including the bureaucracy living in the shadow of fear? The essence of democracy is right to debate. Democracy needs debate, tolerance and brotherhood," he said.
Amid the raging JNU row, BJP dismissed as "baseless and wrong" Gandhi's accusations that the party was muzzling the youth by branding them as "anti-nationals" and said the issue is not between the government and any institution but between the country and traitors.
"On the JNU incident, Rahul Gandhi had levelled some accusations against our party. They are baseless, wrong and ineffective. Rahul Gandhi instead of trying to be a leader has become a principal misleader of Indian politics.”
"His remarks in Assam over arrest of (JNU students' union leader) Kanhaiya Kumar is a proof of his willingness to twist the truth. Kanhaiya was arrested because of remarks and slogans which he raised which were anti-national," BJP national spokesperson M J Akbar told reporters.
With BJP targeting Congress over its support to "anti-nationals" in the JNU row, Leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad said his party "disassociates" with all such students who shouted slogans attacking India's unity and Constitution but insisted that there was no proof of sedition against Kanhaiya Kumar.
"There is no proof of sedition against him," he told reporters after an all party meeting convened by Prime Minister Narendra Modi ahead of the Budget session of Parliament starting February 23.
He also hit out at BJP leaders for "defaming" the party leadership with their "anti-national" jibe and said the government should restrain them.
Union Parliamentary Affairs Minister Venkaiah Naidu shared the opposition leaders' concern over use of terms like "anti-national" but also spoke about 'Hitler' jibe made at the Prime Minister as he noted that all parties should show restraint.
Meanwhile, BJP leader Subramanian Swamy demanded that the JNU should be shut down for four months after the final examinations in May for "fumigating" the hostels by rejecting students who do not swear allegiance to the Indian constitution.
"But those having proven record of being jihadis, naxalites and LTTE terrorists must be expelled from the university," he said in a statement.
Swamy also said those students who have not graduated from bachelor's courses and those who have not got their master's degrees in three years should be expelled.
He said JNU is hundred per cent financed by government and is accountable to Parliament and CAG. Academic freedom like all freedoms in a democracy is subject to reasonable restrictions and the government is entitled to enforce restrictions....