JNU row: Shah, Rahul trade bitter charges

NEW DELHI/GUWAHATI: Trading bitter charges over the escalating JNU row, BJP chief Amit Shah on Monday alleged that Rahul Gandhi was supporting “anti-nationals” and wanted another “division” of India while the Congress vice president said the BJP was following an agenda of creating “divide and hatred”.
As the exchanges between the BJP and Congress grew shrill, CPI-M general secretary Sitaram Yechury targeted the BJP, saying there can be no “bigger farce than Godse-worshippers” putting out certificates on nationalism, in a sharp counter to Left parties being labelled as “anti-national” forces.
Yechury’s predecessor Prakash Karat accused the NDA government’s “top” machinery of “directing crisis” at JNU and charged the Narendra Modi dispensation with imposing ideological hegemony on varsities in the country.
Speaking on the raging JNU controversy for the first time, Shah asked Congress president Sonia Gandhi and Rahul a host of questions and demanded that he apologise for his stand on the JNU issue, saying support to anti-national forces in the name of the Left’s progressive ideology is not acceptable.
“An attempt was made to defame a leading university in the national capital by turning it into a centre which encourages terrorism and separatism. I want to ask Rahul Gandhi if it would be in national interest had the central government kept quiet.
“Are you not encouraging traitors by protesting in support of these anti-nationals?”, Shah wrote in a blog.
Noting that slogans like ‘Pakistan zindabad’, ‘go India go back’ and those in support of Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru, Kashmir’s independence and India’s destruction were raised in JNU, the BJP President wondered if the Congress leader had joined hands with separatists.
“Does he want another division of India by giving a free run to separatists in the name of freedom of expression? The kind of statements the Congress vice president and other leaders of his party have made in JNU have proved again that national interest has no place in their mind,” Shah said.
Rahul attacked the BJP and RSS over the JNU row, saying they do not have respect for diversity of the nation’s culture and wanted to control everyone’s views.