Activists of the All India Students’ Association (AISA) today held a protest as BJP President JP Nadda came to Patna College, where he once studied. Raising slogans of “JP Nadda, wapas jao (go back)”, they demanded rollback of the National Education Policy of 2020, and grant of central status to Patna University.
The gherao — being seen by BJP leaders as a “major security breach” that was “allowed by police” — could be another point of friction in the ruling alliance. The BJP is a partner in the Bihar government led by JDU’s Nitish Kumar — a partnership that hasn’t seen much bonhomie lately. In fact, central status for Patna University is a demand that Nitish Kumar has raised in the past, as have several other organisations across the political spectrum.
At the protest today, as students from the Leftist organisation AISA surrounded Mr Nadda, security personnel pushed through the crowd for him to move out. Mr Nadda, who graduated in political science from here and whose father worked at Patna University, was part of an alumni programme at the college seminar hall.
BJP leaders accompanying him were angry and said the police allowed the protesters to come near him. “Also, not a single woman cop was present when female students rolled on the ground before his vehicle,” said a local BJP leader. Mr Nadda landed in the state capital earlier in the day for a two-day convention of the BJP’s frontal organisations. The party held a roadshow, too, with him in the lead.
After the protest, a press release by AISA mentioned that Kumar Divyam, its state unit joint secretary, led the activists. The organisation has held that the NEP 2020 is “nothing but a promotion of graded inequality”. In statements on its website, among other objections to the policy, it has stressed that increase in the number of private institutions is against the idea of social justice as implemented via reservation and other policies.