Higher education loan scheme, one lakh jobs within a year and free wi-fi in colleges were among the promises made by Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal to students of poll-bound Delhi University on a star-studded event organised by AAP’s students’ wing on Tuesday.
Apart from Kejriwal, the event at Talkatora Stadium in the national capital also saw the presence of his deputy Manish Sisodia, Transport Minister Gopal Rai, and a number of popular Bollywood artistes, including singers Vishal Dadlani and Shilpa Rao. AAP’s students’ wing Chhatra-Yuva Sangharsh Samiti (CYSS) has entered the fray for the first time turning the DUSU elections into a triangular contest. NSUI and ABVP have traditionally dominated the political scene of DU.
In his speech, Kejriwal also pitched for “clean student politics” saying that Delhi University was besetted with corruption. The AAP government has reduced corruption in Delhi by over 70 per cent in six months, he said.
“We will make Delhi the first free-wifi state and our team is working hard to turn it into a reality soon. The start would be made at colleges across the state. We will also create around 1 lakh jobs within a year,” Kejriwal said.
Speaking before Kejriwal, Sisodia announced the government’s decision to launch the higher education loan scheme, named after late former President A P J Abdul Kalam, on September 8, three days ahead of the polls. Kejriwal said the scheme was meant to ensure that no student has to abandon higher education for lack of money.
“There are students who cannot afford higher education for lack of financial strength. We will ensure guarantee loan for them.”
The event, anchored by popular video jockey Raghu Ram, saw hundreds of students grooving to popular foot stomping numbers belted out by Dadlani and Rao. City-based band Astitva, singer Jasleen were the other performers.
In a bid to offset criticism over expenditure incurred for the marquee event, Sisodia emphasised that the artistes had not taken money for performing.
“No one has been paid. Who can dare take money in front of Arvind Kejriwal in any case?” he quipped.
“Some people may ask why are we encouraging students for politics? I want to ask them who else will do politics if not students. Ambani or Adani? Students will usher in clean politics and change the country,” Sisodia said.
The ambiance was electric at Talkatora, packed to the brim, with students waving flashes of mobile torches, screaming at the top of their voice, dancing in abandon while not forgetting to take selfies in between.
“Of course I am here to see Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal. Moreover, it is a great opportunity to enjoy so many bollywood singers under the same roof,” Ankush from Shyam Lal college said.
Kejriwal said bringing DU among the top 100 universities of the world was an imperative and stressed that an AAP-backed students’ body would ensure that. “We are a party of the youth.” However, the crowd had considerably thinned by the time Kejriwal rose to speak at the fag end of the event, officially publicised as freshers’ rock concert ‘DU rocks’.
In his address, Transport Minister Gopal Rai urged the students to repeat the mandate of Delhi Assembly polls at DUSU elections and defeat money and muscle power.