Monday, 30th October 2017

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ABVP scents opening in JU episode

Left student outfits, however, swatted away the ABVP claim

By Sandip Chowdhury and Subhankar Chowdhury in Calcutta
  • Published 23.09.19, 1:14 AM
  • Updated 23.09.19, 1:14 AM
  • a min read
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A bicycle on fire outside Gate No. 4 of Jadavpur University around 8.30pm on Thursday. According to a source, immediately after Sarkar’s reporting, Bengal BJP president Dilip Ghosh took over microphone and said the incident would help challenge the Left monopoly in JU. Telegraph file picture

The ABVP is seeing in the controversy in Jadavpur University a positive sign for the otherwise marginalised students’ wing of the RSS in Bengal.

ABVP state general-secretary Saptarshi Sarkar on Sunday briefed RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat, who was in town for the coordination meeting of 37 organisations, on Thursday’s stand-off on the JU campus involving Union minister Babul Supriyo.

“Bhagwatji quietly listened to the detailed reporting on ABVP’s penetration in JU. The briefing concluded with a hope that the issue would give the RSS leverage on the JU campus,” said a source.

According to a source, immediately after Sarkar’s reporting, Bengal BJP president Dilip Ghosh took over microphone and said the incident would help challenge the Left monopoly in JU.

“We could hold a programme on the campus. Then, we also held a rally on the campus… We couldn’t have carried out such programmes before. There is little doubt that we have made our presence felt in JU,” a source quoted Ghosh as telling the gathering.

Set up in 1949, the ABVP had always eyed Bengal as a fertile ground because of its geographical proximity to Bangladesh and the history of Partition. An old-timer recounted that the organisation had been trying to make its presence felt on campuses in the state over a decade. Later, an ABVP leader told this newspaper: “Over the past few years, we managed to gain some control in areas like Cooch Behar, Purulia and Behala. But our attempt to make inroads into some of the most prestigious campuses had always ended in a naught.”

The RSS has been looking at Jadavpur, especially the engineering faculty, with more interest because of the heterogeneous composition of the classes with sizeable section of students from the heartland.

“Thursday’s standoff has given us the traction and we hope to do better next time in the elections that could be held early next year, said Suman Das, the secretary of the JU ABVP unit.

Left student outfits, however, swatted away the ABVP claim. “I do not see them anywhere in JU even after 5-10 years,” said Debraj Debnath, general secretary of Arts Faculty Students’ Union in JU.