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Kishor courts controversy as BJP, Oppn accuse him of interference in PUSU polls, JDU denies charge

Press Trust of India  |  Patna 

JD(U) vice Prashant Kishor's meeting with has raised eyebrows with ally BJP as well as adversaries accusing him of meddling in the students union elections, even as he attacked the RSS' student wing after his vehicle was vandalised allegedly by students outside the VC's residence.

Kishor, a who was inducted into the party by Minister in September and catapulted to the top post within a few weeks, said he was unhurt in the Monday night incident but targeted the ABVP, saying it can't get rid of its nervousness over possible defeat in the students union polls by throwing stones at his car.

Chhatra JD(U), students wing of Kishor's party, is contesting the PUSU elections, for which voting is scheduled on Wednesday.

The BJP, meanwhile, lodged a protest with Lalji Tandon, who is also the of all state universities, and demanded that he either sack the VC or stop the election process with immediate effect. It also protested the detention of activists in connection with the attack on Kishor's vehicle

The JD(U), however, jumped to Kishor's defence, saying he had gone to the VC's residence along with a relative who was attending a conference on disaster management there.

too came out with a statement saying he was committed to hold free and fair polls.

All the current top leaders of including Minister Nitish Kumar, RJD supremo Lalu Prasad, Deputy Minister and have their roots in the

On Monday night, Kishor visited the residence of the Vice Chancellor, leading to angry protests outside by supporters of the (ABVP), an affiliate of the Rastriya Swayamsevak Sangh, and the Chhatra Yuva Sangharsh Samiti (CYSS), students wing of the

As Kishor emerged from the VC's residence, the agitated students pelted stones on his vehicle, breaking its window panes. Police resorted to a lathicharge and rounded up a number of agitators who were lodged at the station.

A BJP delegation headed by Bankipore MLA and state rushed to in the night itself and registered a protest before the This was followed by a five-hour dharna on Tuesday by Nabin and other BJP leaders including MLAs and Arun Sinha, which ended only after all the detainees were released from custody.

BJP posted tweets accusing "some political cartoons" of making the PUSU polls a prestige issue. He urged the to either sack the VC or stop the election process with immediate effect.

The AAP's local unit also staged a demonstration at the Kargil Chowk, where its members set afire effigies of the Chief Minister and Kishor. They accused the JD(U) leaders of trying to influence the outcome of PUSU polls in collusion with the VC

As the controversy raged, the Vice Chancellor, Rash Bihari Prasad Singh, issued a press release urging students not to be swayed by "rumours".

"I am fully committed to holding free and fair polls. I appeal to students to come out to vote in largest possible numbers and do not get swayed by rumours," he said.

JD(U) said Kishor had gone to the VC's residence along with a relative who was attending a conference on disaster management there.

However, detractors of the Chief Minister, who is also the national of the JD(U), trained their guns on the ruling party.

and chief Upendra Kushwaha, who shares an uneasy relationship with Nitish Kumar, came out with a flurry of mocking tweets, reminding the Chief Minister that he had been a student of the university and asking whether he thought winning the PUSU polls was going to help him realize his Prime Ministerial ambitions.

of the Opposition in the state assembly Tejashwi Yadav tweeted: "is unabashedly muddying his hands in University politics, overlooking ethics and misusing CM residence and to bully rival student wings".

MLC Prem Chandra Mishra, once a firebrand students leader, told PTI, "Kishor seems to be hell bent upon using PUSU polls as an opportunity to boost the prospects of his party. We wonder in what capacity he had gone to meet the VC. Under the current circumstances, free and fair polls are impossible and the same must be deferred".

Former chief minister and Hindustani Awam Morcha also issued a statement accusing the BJP of keeping silent over the "humiliation of its workers".

After the incident, Kishor tweeted, "The about my is false. I'm fine, thanks for the concern. @ABVPVoice u need to do better than let few hooligans & antisocial elements. The nervousness due to possible defeat in Students Union Polls won't be lessened by throwing stones at my vehicles."

The remained abuzz with posts on the controversy with the former poll being trolled and hashtags like #ShamePKShame, #BhagPKBhag and #ArrestPK going viral.

Kishor was credited with ensuring the victory of the "Grand Alliance', comprising the JD(U), RJD and Congress, against the BJP-led NDA in the 2015 Assembly polls. The JD(U), however, returned to the last year.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Tue, December 04 2018. 21:55 IST