Trinamool’s ‘balm’ for FTII students criticised

Kolkata, Aug 23 (IANS) The CPI-M and the BJP on Sunday ridiculed West Bengal’s ruling Trinamool Congress for sending three of its MPs to Pune to express solidarity with FTII students protesting against the appointment of Gajendra Chauhan as the institute’s chairman.

Lok Sabha members Abhishek Banerjee and Satabdi Roy and Rajya Sabha chief whip Derek O’Brien are to interact with the Film and Television Institute of India students on Monday.

The decision was announced on Saturday, a day after Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee urged the Narendra Modi government to resolve the impasse.

Incidentally, the announcement of the visit came on a day when the Trinamool’s students wing – Trinamool Chhatra Parishad – took out a rally here denouncing student agitation in Presidency University.

A section of the Presidency students have been demanding the resignation of vice chancellor Anuradha Lohia. They allege that she refused to act after several students were assaulted by police during the Friday visit of Mamata Banerjee to the university.

“The party which … has no regard for democratic values and principles is showing solidarity to a students’ movement. This is nothing but mockery,” CPI-M Rajya Sabha member Ritabrata Banerjee told IANS.

Banerjee, also the general secretary of the Students Federation of India, said the motive behind the Trinamool MPs’ visit to Pune was to derive political mileage.

“The Trinamool is feeling left out as the CPI-M has been championing the causes of the students,” added Banerjee.

BJP national secretary Siddharth Nath Singh too denounced the Trinamool’s move.

“Trinamool has a history of denouncing democracy. So how can they let go an opportunity to support a movement which is completely undemocratic?” Singh told IANS.

The decision to include Abhishek, Banerjee’s nephew, in the delegation has also drawn sharp criticism.

Abhishek had flayed last year’s massive agitation by Jadavpur University students demanding the resignation vice chancellor Abhijit Chakrabarty for ‘ordering’ a violent police crackdown on them.

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