Gujarat college principal asks students to join BJP, quits after backlash

The principal in charge, asked that students sign up as the Bharatiya Janata Party's (BJP) page pramukh (electoral roll page in charge at booth level) the following day in a notice to students on June 24.

After a storm of criticism over her written directions to students last week to join the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party, a college principal in Gujarat’s Bhavnagar city resigned on Monday (BJP).

The college administration distanced itself from the principal’s June 24 directive and announced her resignation.

This notice by Rajanbala Gohil, the in-charge principal, sparked outrage after it went viral on social media. On Monday morning, she withdrew the same notice by issuing a rejoinder that stated: “Nobody gave me any instructions from anyone for issuing such a notice. It was issued due to my misunderstanding, and I am withdrawing it with this notification.”

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Dhiren Vaishnav, the director of Bhavnagar’s Smt NC Gandhi BV Gandhi Mahila Arts Commerce College, or Mahila college, all institutions of the Bhavnagar Stree Kelavani Mandal Trust concentrate on educational and developmental endeavours and do not affiliate themselves with any political programme.

The principal in charge, asked that students sign up as the Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) page pramukh (electoral roll page in charge at booth level) the following day in a notice to students on June 24.

“For tomorrow’s registration as a page pramukh in the BJP party, each student must provide a passport-sized photo. The only participants and members are students who reside within the boundaries of the Bhavnagar Municipal Corporation. Each student must bring a cell phone to college tomorrow in order to participate in the BJP party’s recruitment drive,” the principal’s order in Gujarati said, according to media reports.

On Monday afternoon, Congress workers and NSUI members demonstrated in front of the vice-chancellor of Maharaja Krishnakumarsinhji Bhavnagar University, demanding that the acting principal be fired. The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) also voiced strong criticism.

“The BJP claims to be the largest political party in the world. It is now clear how it grew to be so large. This is not the only university. “There are many other institutes that work under the BJP, and the party controls them,” said Prakash Vaghani, chief of the Congress’ Bhavnagar city unit.

“Is this an educational institute or a factory for producing BJP workers? asked Gopal Italia of the AAP.

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