Samajwadi Party (SP) chief Mulayam Singh Yadav’s visit to Aligarh Muslim University cancelled after protests
Aligarh – Samajwadi Party (SP) chief Mulayam Singh Yadav was forced to call off his visit to the Aligarh Muslim University today after widespread protests on the campus by the faculty and students, in a development that does not portend well for the SP in the national election due by May.
Under fire for inviting Mr Yadav, the organisers today cancelled the seminar itself.
Officially, the SP leaders said that Mr Yadav had dropped his plans to visit AMU because of the code of conduct that had come into force for the impending election to the legislative council, but the students and teachers at the University, a prestigious centre of learning for the minority community, said that the outrage over Akhilesh Yadav government’s handling of the Muzaffarnagar riots and its indifference towards the plight of relief camp inmates, was the primary factor behind its cancellation.
The sprawling AMU campus was witness to widespread protests by the teachers and students in the past two days after it was announced that Mr Yadav would be addressing a seminar organised by Sir Syed Movement, a social organisation.
AMU Teachers Association secretary Aftab Alam welcomed Mr Yadav’s decision to stay away from the campus, and said the university community was anguished at the way the Uttar Pradesh government had handled last year’s riots in Muzaffarnagar.
“We are also upset by Yadav’s opposition to the Communal Violence Prevention Bill. We had always looked upon the SP as a champion of secularism and were taken aback by the recent events,” Mr Alam said.
The protests by the teachers and students of the university does not augur well for the SP’s prospects in the general election. The party had been swept to power in the state in 2012, riding on the support from the Muslims, who comprise about 17% of the electorate in UP, the OBCs and a section of upper castes. All pre-poll surveys have put Narendra Modi’s BJP ahead of the SP and the BSP in the politically-crucial state.