New Delhi: Even as support continues to pour in from the film fraternity in favour of the demand for removal of controversial FTII chairman Gajendra Chauhan, senior BJP leader Subramanian Swamy on Saturday rejected the demands and stoked a controversey by calling the protesting students 'Naxalites'.
Speaking to news agency ANI, Swamy said, “Govt has right to appoint FTII chairman. Who are the students to oppose, there is no election. Most of them are Naxalites.”
Chauhan, best known for playing Yudhisthir in mega TV epic "Mahabharata", took over as the chairman of the Pune-based institute's governing council last month and his appointment was stoutly opposed by students, who have been agitating for almost 29 days.
Earlier in the day, Rajkummar Rao, a graduate from the Film and Television Institute of India, joined the growing list of celebrities who are throwing their weight behind the students, saying that the institute needs to be in "safe hands".
The National Award-winning actor said that the students deserve a head who they can look up to and trust.
"#FTII needs to be in safe hands. Students need somebody who they can trust and look up to. It's their future which is at stake here," the "City Lights" actor posted on Twitter.
#FTII needs to be in safe hands. Students need somebody who they can trust and look up to. It's their future which is at stake here.
— Rajkummar Rao (@RajkummarRao) July 10, 2015
FTTI students have been on an indefinite strike since June 12 and refused to budge from their demand. They have been boycotting classes and abandoning academic work in protest against the appointment of Chauhan, who they allege lacks "stature and vision" to head the institution. A billboard at the entrance of the institute had last week asked Chauhan to resign and leave.
Other student groups have also been protesting against the decision, with organisations like the AISA calling on Chauhan to quit.