Students ‘forced to attend’ seminar with BJP neta’s son | Mumbai News – Times of India | IIT EXPERT



MUMBAI: A college event to encourage first-time voters where BJP candidate Piyush Goyal‘s son Dhruv Goyal was chief guest turned controversial after the college allegedly took away studentsidentity cards and forced them to attend it on Friday.
Piyush Goyal is BJP’s Lok Sabha candidate for Mumbai North. Dhruv Goyal was chief guest at the session held at Kandivli’s Thakur College of Science and Commerce, in the North constituency.Second-year students had their last exam on Saturday and the event was held on Friday around 10.30 am, after their day’s exam.
An alleged video from the event of a student questioning the college’s move has gone viral on social media. The student received applause in the auditorium when he raised the point during the post-event interaction with the guest. The second-year student from the college claimed their identity cards were taken away, and they were forced to attend the session, even as he wished the party good luck for the polls. The student is seen questioning whether the manner in which the college administration forced them to attend the seminar is even democratic.
In a video of the same event, shared by BJP representatives on Saturday evening, Dhruv Goyal, in response, thanked and congratulated the student for his courage to speak up. He said he was not aware of it and added he would speak to the administration about not repeating such an incident. In his video, Dhruv Goyal is heard saying: “Even if 10 people are coming to listen, I will talk with the same energy. I am disheartened by the administration’s action. I apologise to you for this. I will ensure that it does not happen again, and if it does, please come and tell me.”
MVA members including Shiv Sena (UBT) leader Aaditya Thackeray, Priyanka Chaturvedi, Congress leader Varsha Gaikwad and NCP leader Jitendra Awhad slammed BJP and the college management.
A student told TOI there were two sessions on Friday. Second-year students were asked to attend the one at 10.30am and the next was at 1pm for third-year students. While the second session went smoothly, the point was raised by one of the students during the first. “Our IDs were taken away during the exams, and we were told to attend the session. After the exam, the exit from the sixth floor, which goes downstairs, was shut and the one going upstairs to the auditorium, where the event was organised, on the seventh floor was kept open,” said the student.
In his speech, in the video, Goyal is heard saying, “…Your first vote will be a vote that will be truly yours. Don’t let your parents, don’t let your siblings influence you. That vote is your vote and should come from your heart. No one is taking that away from you. I have not come here today to tell you to vote for party X or Y. Obviously I have my biases…”
A statement issued by the college said “a manipulated video” is being disseminated by a political representative, “seemingly with political motivations”. The statement said they invited Dhruv Goyal for a meaningful dialogue with first-time voters. “The video has led to an unwanted controversy, overshadowing what was an otherwise successful and well-received event… It is regrettable that the political representative’s actions have introduced an unnecessary discord into our college environment, unfairly involving our students in a dispute that was uncalled for,” read the statement.
It said Dhruv Goyal was not acquainted with the query raised during post-event interaction and the matter is under review by the institution. “It is our belief that educational settings should remain apolitical, focussed on the enrichment and empowerment of our students rather than becoming areas for political contention,” the statement concluded.
Aaditya Thackeray said the regime is sending out a message on a daily basis that they do not wish the country to be a democracy. Awhad said the new generation cannot be forced or else they will revolt. Gaikwad asked for action by the Election Commission.
UGC has directed colleges to hold an awareness campaign called ‘Mera Pehla Vote Desh Ke Liye’. A university official said they would look into it.





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