The National Students’ Union of India (NSUI), the student wing of Indian National Congress (INC), expelled seven leaders of its East Singhbhum unit from the organisation for three years for posting ‘Jai Sri Ram’ on the party’s official WhatsApp group, officials said on 15 June.
NSUI district President Rose Tirkey, a Christian, issued an official order to this effect, expelling NSUI Jamshedpur workers Kamal Agrawal, Raj Mahato, Rahul Giri, Anand Singh, Prashant Kumar, Lav Kumar and Jayanto Pramanik.
“These people promoted factionalism against NSUI district president and promoted a particular religion in NSUI’s official WhatsApp group. All these leaders are being expelled immediately from the NSUI for three years for their anti-party activities, social media posts against party lines organisational protocol, and promoting factionalism within the organisation,” Tirkey stated in the order.
She said secularism was the foundation on which the INC and NSUI stood. “Congress and NSUI are not based on — or inclined to — any particular religion, it’s not a party or organisation of any particular religion. There is no need and place for leaders resorting to such acts. This apart, they were continuously posting objectionable posts against the district president on social media, leading to mental harassment. They have been resorting to anti-party activities. They were also promoting factionalism and accusing NSUI district leadership of arbitrarily forming a new team,” Tirkey’s order read.
However, one of the expelled persons, Kamal Agrawal, said he had not received any order of the type. “I have not received the expulsion order as yet, but came to know about it from media. I had a detailed talk with our state president Aamir Hashmi recently over organisational matters. Doesn’t everyone has the right to practice their religion in this country? We wished each other with Jai Sri Ram the way Sikhs say Satnam Waheguru,” he said.
BJP district general secretary Rakesh Singh termed the move as “anti-Hindu”. “This is promoting appeasement. Now, Congress has an objection to ‘Jai Sri Ram’ in Jharkhand as Mamata Banerjee has an issue with the chant in West Bengal. Congress’s student wing expelled its members for taking Lord Rama’s name in Lord Rama’s country. Top Congress leaders raise doubt over the existence of Lord Rama who is revered and worshipped by billions of Hindus,” said Singh.