Srinagar: The Opposition leaders tried to corner the Narendra Modi-led government over a host of issues including the protests at the JNU and the suicide of a Dalit scholar at the University of Hyderabad in January, while the government said it was ready to discuss all issues in the upcoming session of Parliament.
“The government is ready to walk the extra mile to ensure discussion in Parliament on all issues raised by the opposition,” said parliamentary affairs minister M Venkaiah Naidu after an all-party meeting ahead of the Budget session.
Opposition parties asked the government to protect and preserve the autonomy of education institutions in the country. They also complained about conflicting views from the government over the JNU controversy.
The Congress said it dissociates itself from students who do not believe in the Constitution, but argued that JNU students’ association president Kanhaiya Kumar did not say anything for which he was charged for sedition.
At the meeting, finance minister Arun Jaitley defended the police action against the students, offering to show opposition leaders video clippings of “alarming” slogans shouted on the JNU campus, sources said.
When Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad said the party would never support “anti-national” slogans, Jaitley offered to show a clipping of Rahul Gandhi’s speech telling JNU students that those who suppressed their voices were anti-national.
The government offer came on a day JNU teachers boycotted classes in support of striking students and hundreds of journalists hit the streets to protest Monday’s attack on reporters and teachers by lawyers linked to the BJP outside a Delhi court.
The journalists submitted a memorandum against the violence to the Chief Justice of India. Also, the Supreme Court will hear a plea against the attack on reporters on Wednesday, amid an outpouring of support for JNU from academics from around 400 foreign universities, including Harvard and Yale.
Meanwhile, Delhi University professor SAR Geelani was sent to two-days’ remand, while Delhi high court rejected a plea asking for the National Investigation Agency (NIA) to look into alleged anti-national activities on Jawaharlal Nehru University’s campus.
—With inputs from agencies