In an attempt to make inroads into Delhi's Jawaharlal Nehru University, which has often voiced strong opposition against the BJP, the Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha (BJYM) national president Poonam Mahajan, on Monday has launched the BJP membership drive on the JNU campus in Delhi, saying that India's integrity is safe under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
"We all need to strengthen the hands of the Prime Minister by joining with maximum numbers.' Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas and Sabka Vishwas' is the tradition of our party," she said.
Calling JNU the 'Ganga' of the country, she said students come to the institute from all over the country adding that the membership campaign wants in involve 'every common man' in the country's development.
"The membership campaign is needed because we want to take along every common man. Our party believes in a fully democratic system," she said.
Mahajan also said similar events will be held on other campuses across the country till August 11 to reach out to students. She said the JNU was the first campus where the event was held.
JNU faced the Modi government's ire, when the then -JNU Student Union president Kanhaiya Kumar led a procession raising seditious slogans protesting the executions of Afzal Guru and Maqbool Bhat, and in support of "the struggle of Kashmiri people for their democratic right to self-determination" on February 9, 2016. The event was held despite the University administration withdrawing permission for the event shortly before it was due to begin, due to protests by members of the Hindu nationalist student union ABVP.
During clashes between the different student groups, a video was circulated with several students raising alleged 'anti-India' slogans. Soon after this, Kanhaiya Kumar was arrested by the Delhi police and charged with sedition along with two other students. The arrests drew heavy criticism from many sections of society, on the grounds that the Bharatiya Janata Party government was attempting to silence political dissent.
Recently, after being elected with a bigger mandate, the Amit Shah-led Union Home Ministry has said that there is no proposal to scrap the provision under the IPC dealing with the offence of Sedition adding: "There is a need to retain the provision to effectively combat anti-national and terrorist elements."
Sedition as per Indian Penal Code (IPC) is the section 124-A. It says:
"Whoever, by words, either spoken or written, or by signs, or by visible representation, or otherwise, brings or attempts to bring into hatred or contempt, or excites or attempts to excite disaffection towards the Government established by law in India' shall be punished with life imprisonment."
(With PTI Inputs)