Kanhaiya ‘enjoying’ free publicity: Venkaiah Naidu

A day after JNUSU president Kanhaiya Kumar took on the Narendra Modi government, Union Minister M Venkaiah Naidu said he was “enjoying free publicity” while leaders of opposition parties showered praises on him Kumar for his speech last night which is making waves on social media.

Naidu suggested that if Kanhaiya is interested in politics he should join his “favourite party” which, he said sarcastically, does “not even have in single digit” in representation in Parliament.

“He is getting free publicity and enjoying the publicity. The question is let him condemn those slogans, let him distance himself from them. Let him help the authorities curb such activities in universities.

“Universities are meant for education. They must study rather than getting involved in politics. If they are interested (in politics), then they can leave study and join politics. He can join his favourite party which does not even have single digit in Parliament,” Naidu said.

Kumar represents All India Students’ Federation (AISF), the students’ front of Communist Party of India (CPI) which has one seat each in Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha.

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, who tweeted “What a brilliant speech by Kanhaiya” as the latter was speaking last night, today said, “I told you several times Modi ji (Prime Minister), don’t mess with students. Modi ji did not pay heed.”

“Heard Kanhaiya’s speech many times. Amazing clarity of thought expressed wonderfully.He said what most people have been feeling.God bless him,” he tweeted.

CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury said Kumar’s speech was “testimony” to the fact that JNU students are demanding the creation of a better India and that they are the “foot soldiers” protecting the secular and democratic character of the Indian republic.

Congress’ Ashwani Kumar said his party has been maintaining that Kumar did not utter anything anti-national at any point and yesterday he made it more clear through the speech.

Kumar was released from Tihar jail yesterday after the Delhi High Court granted him bail following his nearly three-week long incarceration in a case of alleged sedition.