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College Principal in Gujarat Asks Students To Become BJP 'Page Pramukhs'

"Every student should bring their passport size photo to register as a 'page pramukh' in the BJP," the order read

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India
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The principal of a women’s college in Bhavnagar city, Gujarat, issued an order which asked students to become ‘page pramukhs’ or electoral roll page incharge at a booth, for the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

In an order dated 24 June, Ranjanbala Gohil, the principal of NC Gandhi & Smt BV Gandhi Mahila Arts & Commerce College, Bhavnagar, asked students living within civic limits to bring a passport-size photograph along with mobile phones, to become a BJP ‘page pramukh’.

"Every student should bring their passport size photo tomorrow to register as a 'page pramukh' in the BJP party. Only students living within the limits of Bhavnagar Municipal Corporation can become members. In order to join the membership drive in the BJP party, every student needs to come to college tomorrow with a mobile phone.”
Order from Rajanbala Gohl, Principal, N.C Gandhi & Smt. B.V. Gandhi Mahila Arts & Commerce College,
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Subsequently, the local Congress unit decried the move and attacked the BJP for making use of such educational institutions to further their political goals, while the trust that runs the institution said the principal had resigned.

Trustee Dhiren Vaishnav stated that the order came to his notice on the night of Sunday, 26 June, after which, he discussed the order with other trustees before contacting Gohil.

Vaishnav said that "All institutes of Bhavnagar Stree Kelavani Mandal Trust focus on developmental and educational activities and do not associate themselves with any political programme."

“The incharge principal accepted her mistake and has told us she had no personal interest in getting students enrolled as BJP members," he added.

Congress Bhavnagar City Unit Chief Prakash Vaghani said that there are many other institutes “that work under the BJP, and the party controls them.”

The BJP, which has been ruling the state for 27 years, has begun a primary membership drive ahead of Assembly polls to be conducted in December this year.

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