The Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) is the one common thread in the spate of controversies dominating headlines from university campuses, be it Delhi, Hyderabad or the JNU.Its growing clout and assertiveness about its version of `anti-national’ activities, often met with equal opposition, is becoming a major headache for universities, especially where the BJP government has appointed new vice-chancellors. Bigger problem, university administrators say, arises when one version of `anti-national’ activity is backed by government.

The ABVP has a different take.

“Such is the misfortune of the country that Rahul Gandhi, vicepresident of the party that led freedom struggle, has lent its support to the supporters of Yakub Memon (1993 Mumbai terror convict) and Afzal Guru (convict of 2001 Parliament attack case),“ Sunil Ambekar, national organising secretary of the ABVP , told ET.

University incidents flared up after the appointment of new V-Cs. JNU VC Jagadesh Kumar was appointed just last month, while AR Podile was made Hyderabad University V-C in mid-2015. Both have had to contend with an assertive ABVP , requiring law-enforcement authorities to enter the scene after matters spiralled out of control.

“Everything from ap pointments to procurements to ad comes under doubt,“ a prominent V-C told ET when asked about deteriorating situation on campuses.

“What happened in Hyderabad or elsewhere shows the kind of pressure that can be mounted by ruling dispensation on university administrations. But one has to give in at times otherwise universities can suffer terribly,“ a former Central University V-C told ET.