Ahead of Delhi University polls, ABVP installs statue of Savarkar, creates row

(Express photo by Abhinav Saha)

Ahead of Delhi University students’ union elections, the RSS-affiliated ABVP Tuesday installed statues of Veer Savarkar, Subhash Chandra Bose and Bhagat Singh outside the gate of the varsity’s Arts Faculty in north campus, amid criticism from Congress-affiliated NSUI and Left-backed AISA.

ABVP-led Delhi University Students’ Union president Shakti Singh said had approached the college administration repeatedly for approval to install the statues but there was no response from them. Singh said they would stage a protest if the administration tried to remove the statues.

"We have been approaching the administration for permission since November last year but there has been no response. I requested them for permission again on August 9 but to no avail. Their silence forced us to take the step," PTI quoted Singh as saying.

Bust of Veer Savarkar’s statue installed by ABVP. (Express photo by Abhinav Saha)

The move came under fire from the Congress-affiliated NSUI and Left-backed AISA, which said Savarkar cannot be kept on the same pedestal as Bose and Singh.

"You cannot put Savarkar on the same pedestal as Bhagat Singh and Subhash Chandra Bose," PTI quoted National Students’ Union of India’s Delhi unit president Akshay Lakra as saying.

All India Students’ Association’s Delhi unit president Kawalpreet Kaur too came down heavily on the ABVP’s move, saying they were trying to legitimise Savarkar’s ideas in the garb of Bhagat Singh and Subhash Chandra Bose.

"In the garb of Bhagat Singh and Subhash Chandra Bose, they are trying to give legitimacy to Savarkar’s ideas. This is not acceptable. The place they have put up the statue is not private property but public land," Kaur said.

Bust of Subhash Chandra Bose’s statue installed outside DU. (Express photo by Abhinav Saha)

Lakra threatened to launch a strong protest if the statues were not removed within 24 hours. The DU students’ union polls will be held next month, however, the dates for the same are yet to be announced.