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Mumbai: Shiv Sena (UBT) Leaders Accuse Piyush Goyal Son Of Forcing College Students To Attend Seminar; College Denies Claim

Shiv Sena (UBT) leader Aaditya Thackeray slammed the Union government and said it was sending a message to the world that it does not wish the country remains a democracy anymore.

Mumbai: Shiv Sena (UBT) Leaders Accuse Piyush Goyal Son Of Forcing College Students To Attend Seminar; College Denies Claim
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Leaders of Shiv Sena (UBT) accused a college in Mumbai's Kandivali area of compelling students to listen to a speech by Dhruv Goyal, the son of Union Minister Piyush Goyal by allegedly taking away their ID cards.

Oppostion leaders including Aaditya Thackeray and Priyanaka Chaturvedi took the matter to social media platform to X as they condemned the alleged accusations claiming that the BJP regime doesn't wish to be a 'democracy' anymore.

Thakur College of Science and Commerce, post the controversy, argued that the event aimed to encourage students, particularly first time voters, to participate in the upcoming general elections but added "the matter", possibly a reference to students being forced to attend, was "under review".

Thackeray, in his message on X, slammed the Union government and said it was sending a message to the world that it does not wish the country remains a democracy anymore.

"Here, the IDs of the students were confiscated to force them to attend a talk by the son of a BJP candidate in North Mumbai a day before their exams. Because obviously even on passing, under this govt, where are the jobs? Rather waste their time on lectures taken by sons of candidates," he said mocking the ruling party.

Will the principal be suspended for such a horrible act, Thackeray asked.

Shiv Sena (UBT) leader Priyanka Chaturvedi in a series of posts on X shamed Piyush Goyal's son for confestcating the IDs of the college students by pointing out that Goyal is contesting his election from the constituency where this college is located.

Additionally, NCP(SP) MLA Awhad shared a video on X platform, showing a student voicing an objection to the situation.

Awhad said he would help students in every way if they are harassed by college authorities over this episode.

"When students protest, revolution begins," the NCP (SP) MLA added.

What did the college administration say?

In a statement, Kandivali-based Thakur College of Science and Commerce principal CT Chakraborty said the institution hosted an event aimed at encouraging students, particularly first time voters. to participate in the upcoming general elections.

The college also accused Shiv Sena (UBT) leader Priyanka Chaturvedi of "disseminating a manipulated video pertaining to the interaction seemingly with political motivations".

She blamed Chaturvedi for the "manipulated video" of the event and alleged "this led to an unwarranted controversy overshadowing what was otherwise a successful and well received event".

The engagement and dialogue with Dhruv Goyal were positively received by students, Chakraborty claimed in the statement.

"We wish to clarify that during the post-event interaction, a query was raised by a student on a topic that Dhruv Goyal was not previously acquainted with. The matter is under review by our institution," the college principal said.

The college shared a video in which Dhruv Goyal was seen apologising to the students, assuring them that the incident of taking IDs to ensure attendance at the event will not occur in the future.

Meanwhile, Chaturvedi called the college's allegation against her 'laughable'.

In a statement, she said the college had organised an event on their campus ostensibly under the garb of 'voter awareness campaign' and had invited Dhruv Goyal, son of Union Minister Piyush Goyal who also happens to be the candidate from that constituency, to speak to the students.

A voter awareness campaign cannot have the presence of only one candidate's family member, the Shiv Sena (UBT) leader pointed out.

The students objected to being made to compulsorily attend the event so they shared a video on various social media handles, Chaturvedi said, adding it was widely reported in the media that their ID cards were taken away to ensure participation.

"They (students) also mentioned they had an exam the next day, which clearly the host of the event is heard stating. I shared a video which was widely shared by media. However Thakur College has accused me of manipulating the video, which is laughable," she said.

Chaturvedi wrote to the college that the video she tweeted was from a news handle and not manipulated.

"You have raised a serious charge against me and I can file a defamation (suit) against your institution," she warned and sought an apology.

(With PTI inputs)

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