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JNU students' president squares up against Nirmala Sitharaman; Demands answers

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New Delhi, Sep 18: Indian defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman's comments on JNU varsity drew some strong flake from the varsity student's union president N Sai Balaji. Nirmala Sitharaman had recently said that there are forces in the varsity which are "waging a war" against India.

Attacking the minister the JNUSU president N Sai Balaji said that "The government wants the country to talk about the national versus anti-national debate. They want to divert attention from the real issues - the Rafale deal, the Jio university, unemployment. They want to end public-funded education and encourage corporatisation while the common man talks about nationalism and anti-national elements," he added.

JNU students union president Sai Balaji

Sitharaman's comments came days after candidates backed by Left groups won all four key posts in the JNU Students Union elections. Reports of clashes between the members of the RSS-backed Akhil Bhartiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) and the Left-affiliated All India Students Association (AISA) also hit the headlines.

When asked about developments in the JNU, she had said, "There are forces which are waging a war against India and it is they who are also seen with elected representatives of students union. That makes me feel uneasy. The kind of things which have happened in the last few years in JNU are not really encouraging at all. It is very different to have a party whose ideology you may not agree with. But the way in which they were probably got led by forces which are anti-India," she said.

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