Both the Hyderabad Central University (HCU) and Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) events were “ultra-Left movements” also involving a small section of “jihadis”, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley contended on Sunday.
In the case of JNU, the predominant section of those involved in the agitation was “ultra-Left” barring a small section of “jihadis”, who had their faces masked during a demonstration on the campus on February 9 in which anti-national slogans were raised, Mr. Jaitley said.
The name of Dr. B.R. Ambedkar was “unfairly used” in the case of HCU, where protests erupted after the suicide by research scholar Rohith Vemula, he said.
“The moderate Left and the Congress had got trapped into what was otherwise a movement of the ultra-Left,” the Minister said, adding that the BJP had therefore taken it as an ideological challenge.
The BJP had won the first round of this “ideological debate” in the sense that everybody had to come at least “close to the position we were taking”.
Asked if he expected more rounds in the debate, he said that it was not a battle his party had started.
“We are not raising the debate to this extent (of further rounds) but if somebody against starts the whole idea, then the debate will certainly carry on.”
When asked if the BJP was reaping political dividends by raising the nationalism debate, Mr. Jaitley said, “I am not looking for a dividend. This was an ideological positioning and we have made our point. On this battle I don’t think we can lose.”