HYDERABAD: The row over Congress leader Rahul Gandhi's proposed visit to Osmania University (OU) on May 7 seems to be escalating by the day.
While some students approached the High Court seeking its intervention to allow the visit, dean of PG College of Law, Prof G. Vinod Kumar has thrown his weight behind the Congress leader. On the other hand, TRSV and ABVP activists are not in favour of allowing the visit.
The issue arose when TPCC members asked OU's vice chancellor (VC) to permit the visit, while TRSV, the TRS' student wing, asked the VC to deny permission. Former Rajya Sabha MP Hanumantha Rao and former MLC Ramulu Naik, along with other Congress leaders, met the VC on Tuesday, asking for his nod.
On Friday, K. Manavatha Roy, a research scholar at Arts College, OU, and the chairman of Telangana Students Unemployed JAC (joint action committee), and three other students approached the High Court to file a lunch motion petition, seeking directions to the varsity to allow the visit. However, as Friday was the last day of the court before the summer vacation, they were asked to file a house motion on Monday.
Apart from this, Roy and five other students have written to the OU registrar seeking permission for Rahul Gandhi to meet students at Tagore Auditorium. The letter states that Rahul Gandhi wants to meet the varsity's students as well as unemployed people for the purpose of nation building, and the visit was not planned to be a political one.
Prof. Kumar said not allowing the visit would be unconstitutional and undemocratic. "He is the Congress senior leader and MP. He will talk about what is happening in Telangana and why social justice is being denied. That is an intellectual discourse, so what is wrong if he shares his views," asked the dean.
Prof Kumar added that leaders from other parties, including TRS, BJP, CPM and CPI had come to the university earlier, so not allowing a Congress leader was wrong. "Every democratic intellectual, students and scholars must oppose it," he said.
If given permission, Rahul Gandhi would be the second MP in recent times to enter the varsity. In November 2020, as part of campaigning for the GHMC elections, Bangalore South MP Tejasvi Surya had allegedly trespassed the OU campus by removing barricades and conducting a meeting within the campus.
Meanwhile, students from the ABVP too are opposing the visit. A research scholar from the party said if Rahul Gandhi arrived, he and his supporters would surely speak in favour of Congress and the visit would be a purely political one.