Himansu Shekhar Rout

Alleging politicisation of the college campus by the ruling BJD, students strongly opposed the Odisha government’s ‘Nua O’ campaign for youth empowerment and Yuba Odisha Nabin Odisha at Rajdhani College in Bhubaneswar on Thursday. As a section of students reportedly was not allowed inside, tension prevailed at the college. 

Angry students staged a sit-in outside the college gate and shouted slogans against Minister Ashok Panda who was invited to attend the programme as chief guest.

They waved black flags during the protest, shouting, “Ashok Panda, go back, and attempt to politicise the college campus will not be allowed.”

The agitating students questioned why elections to the student unions have been halted for the last four years. They also objected to pasting posters of ministers and leaders on the college walls.

A student leader speaking to media said, “Elections to the college students’ unions are not being held for the last four years while students affiliated to the Biju Janata Dal (BJD) were allowed to the college campus during such programmes.”

He also pointed out that students irrespective of their party affiliation have rights to enter college while questioning why certain sections of students are barred from such campaigns.

“We had earlier submitted an application to the principal demanding an invitation to leaders of all parties. But some leaders are excluded,” he lamented.

Reactions of the college authorities and the minister could not be received.