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Allahabad Univ Students' Union president Richa Singh joins SP

Atul Chandra | Updated on: 11 February 2017, 5:49 IST

Allahabad University Students Union's first woman president Richa Singh joined Samajwadi Party on Saturday.

Richa, who was inducted into the party by senior UP minister Shivpal Yadav, said she was joining the SP because of a fear prevailing in educational institutions in the country. She was referring to the incidents in Jawaharlal Nehru University and the Hyderabad University.

She denied any plan to contest the forthcoming elections in the state and said: "There was no discussion on this issue yet."

Richa came into the limelight last November after she opposed the visit of BJP MP Yogi Adityanath to the university where he had been invited by Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) members of the students' union.

Richa's complaint was that she was threatened by ABVP members in the university proctor's office, yet no action was taken against any of them. "I filed 10 complaints of harassment with the vice-chancellor. All went unheard," she said.

Barring Richa who, as an independent candidate had won with the support of Samajwadi Chhatra Sabha, rest of the students union members belong to the ABVP.

University authorities allegedly looked for some wrongdoing on her part during the election so that she could be disqualified but could find nothing. This, according to Richa, was done at the ABVP's behest.

The university authorities then initiated an inquiry against her, alleging the documents she had submitted at the time of her admission were forged. Richa alleged that the university officials were plotting to throw her out of the hostel because she opposing ABVP's attempt to saffronise the campus atmosphere.

One of the events organised by ABVP was a religious discourse by Shantanu Maharaj. Later, when she invited a senior New Delhi-based journalist to a seminar in the university, the ABVP scuttled her move.

After her run-ins with her fellow members of the students' union and the university officials, the Samajwadi Party began taking a keener interest in Richa. Her name was included at the last-minute for the Rani Laxmi Bai award for the courage she showed in taking on the ABVP.

Richa has also been supportive of JNUSU President Kanhaiyya and expressed solidarity with Rohith Vemula's cause.

First published: 17 April 2016, 2:34 IST