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Congress defends Rahul’s FTII visit, asks `adamant` BJP to back off


New Delhi, August 3 : Congress leader Ambika Soni on Monday asked the Narendra Modi-led government to stop politicising Rahul Gandhi’s recent visit to the Film and Television Institute of India (FTII) and urged the ruling dispensation to initiate a dialogue with the students to end the controversy.

“There should be no politics as far as Rahul Gandhi’s visit to FTII is concerned. He did not go there as a representative of the party but on the invitation of the students. No one from the government is acknowledging the students’ issues and that’s why they invited him to listen to them,” Soni told ANI.

“This strike has been going on for so many days and the I&B Minister has not yet visited the institute. I spent two hours with the students and allowed them to express their anger and tell their problems. The government seems to have washed their hands off their responsibilities,” she added.

Soni asserted that there is no solution other than dialogue to solve this crisis and accused the government of shirking its responsibilities. “The government is trying to make FTII an institute of excellence whilst imposing their party members on the students. The students will not tolerate the fact that the government is trying to change their mindset. There is no other way than dialogue to solve this problem.”

Over 80 agitating students of the Film and Television Institute of India (FTII) gathered at Jantar Mantar, continuing their protests against the appointment of Gajendra Chauhan as the Pune-based institute’s chief.

Meanwhile, the strike called by the FTII students has entered its 52nd day today.

Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi, who recently visited the institute, had backed the students and accused the government of suppressing their wishes. He had also asked the ruling party to hear the students’ grievances in the wake of the controversy over Chauhan’s appointment.

Chauhan was appointed to the top post on June 9 this year. (ANI)

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