Chennai: The Director of Collegiate Education has ordered an inquiry on how Stella Maris College allowed Congress president Rahul Gandhi’s interaction with their students when the model code of conduct is in force.
During his interaction with students of the prestigious college in Chennai on March 13, Rahul Gandhi spoke about various issues, including Rafale and why he hugged Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Parliament last July.
The interaction became an instant hit among the youth as he was able to connect with them.
In her letter to the Chennai regional joint director on March 14, R. Sarumathi, director of collegiate education, ordered the regional director to conduct an enquiry in the college as to how the event was permitted when the model code of conduct was in place for upcoming Lok Sabha elections.
Further, she said that she came to know about the participation of the political leader’s interaction on March 13 at the college through newspaper reports. However, the letter avoided mentioning the name of Rahul Gandhi.
Despite the repeated attempts, the director of collegiate education was not available for comment.
But, an official from the higher education department, who requested anonymity, said, “We did not issue any to notice to the college. We only sought a report about the event from the directorate of collegiate education.”
BJP leaders including party’s state president Tamilisai Soundararajan have alleged Rahul’s event at Stella Maris College was a violation of model code of conduct which came to effect with the announcement of Parliament poll dates.
But, Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Satyabrata Sahoo had clarified on the same day (March 13) that it was not a violation of the code of conduct.
“The college has invited Rahul Gandhi as the Member of Parliament to speak among students. It was not a violation. If the political party conducts a meeting or a political event on the college premises it amounts to the violation,” he had told reporters.
Meanwhile, TNCC president K.S. Azhagiri questioned the authority of the director of collegiate education when CEO himself clarified that it was not a violation of the code of conduct.
He accused the ruling AIADMK government of being the “puppet” of BJP and “vindictive”. “If Tamil Nadu government takes any vindictive action against the Stella Maris College they have to face consequences in future,” he warned while urging the state government to withdraw the order....