Gujarat college principal asks students to join BJP, resigns following furore- The New Indian Express

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Express News Service

AHMEDABAD:  Two days after asking the students of a college in Gujarat to join the BJP, the principal of the institute put in her papers on Monday. The college in-charge principal, Ranjan Gohil, of Smt. N.C. Gandhi & B.V. Gandhi Women’s Arts and Commerce College in Bhavnagar resigned on the trustees’ directions, which came following complaints about the circular.

Gohil had issued the circular on June 24, asking the girl students to bring their photos, and stating that those living in the Bhavnagar municipal corporation area will have to become members of the BJP’s electoral page committee. The circular also made it mandatory for students to bring their mobile phones to join the membership drive started by BJP.

The principal’s directions stoked controversy and invited criticism from Opposition. Former Gujarat Congress president Arjun Modhvadiya said, “Students are being forced to become BJP members by putting pressure on the government-run college principals. It is also an attack on the education system.”

Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) Gujarat president Gopal Italia called it an “insult to women”, and said, “Do the girls studying in that college go there to join BJP? Is it a college or a factory for making BJP workers? We plan to hold a protest against this.”

Responding to the controversy, Bhavnagar BJP president Rajiv Pandya said, “Currently, workers are visiting colleges for BJP membership, but the party is not working in the manner portrayed by the college principal in the letter. It may be that the principal also felt the passion of patriotism and issued the circular.”

The college trustees said the institute does not allow political activities on the premises. Trustee Dhiren Vaishnav said, “This trust is focused on educating girls, and preparing them for the competitive world. It never entertained political activities on the campus. The principal told us that she had no personal interest in BJP’s membership drive. She was asked to resign, and she did that.”