Student leader Kanhaiya Kumar on Thursday lambasted the Left Front leaders for “sloganeering from the dais”, and in turn losing their connect with the masses. Making his last public speech as the president of Jawaharlal Nehru University Students’ Union (JNUSU), he said, “The Left leaders must retire and not settle in New York.”

Without naming the Left leaders who were former students of JNU, he said, “ It&’s not enough to stand on a podium and earn applause. The Left leaders should come out and work with the masses.”

Earlier, soon after Kumar&’s car reached Mahajati Sadan, the venue of the convention jointly organised by AISF and AIYF (All India Youth Federation), BJP workers started throwing rotten eggs at him while shouting slogans. They condemned Kumar for his “antinational” activities. Later, 15 of these agitators were detained by the police.

“If you work for democracy then shoes would be thrown at you. Are shoes being thrown these days at Left leaders? It shows they are out of the fight,” the student leader said.

Vehemently attacking the “inactive” Left movement in the state, he said, “Judging from the present situation of CPI-M, Marx has become like a God and the party offices have become temples. Those who apply the mark on their forehead are prone to Left idealism, the others are touted as belonging to the mindset of the Rightist.”

Expressing alarm at the declining influence of the Left Front in Bengal, he said, “If the Left Front and its influence are diminishing in Bengal, it&’s a matter of grave concern. What will be the future of Left movement in the country?”

He also expressed concern at the dwindling number of women in the Left movement and said, “I have heard that Bengal is very advanced in terms of women empowerment. However, there is not a single woman on the podium with me here.”He also made clear his stand about the Left-Congress alliance in the state before the Assembly election earlier this year. “Alliances should not be formed to gain strategic advantage in elections. The BJP and PDP too has formed an alliance but one cannot claim that sort of alliance has any intention of social amelioration.”

He also raised the issue of the controversy over Prime Minister Narendra Modi&’s appearance in an advertisement of a private telecom company. He said, “I had written way back in May 2014 during the time of Modi&’s swearing in that the country has become a private limited and that India has not elected a Prime Minister but a CEO for itself. You have that proof now in the recent advertisement of a telecom company where the leader of a democratic country&’s beaming face is stark.”

The student leader further warned the people of Bengal not to be influenced by the ideology of the Sangh Parivar and said, “The BJP has earned 17 per cent of votes in the Bengal election. I urge the people of Bengal not to get influenced by them.”

Talking about the recent landmark judgment of the Supreme Court on the Singur case, he said, “It&’s a matter of concern that while a doctor&’s son looks forward to becoming a doctor, a farmer&’s son does not wish to continue in his father&’s profession. Rather, they wish to migrate to the city.”

Attacking BJP&’s tactics of playing populist politics, he recounted the episode of Rohit Vemula and said, “Instead of trying to find out who and what killed this young mind, the HRD ministry got themselves busy with whether he was a Dalit or not. What difference does it make what caste he belonged to? It was done merely to create a diversion, to not allow people to find out the real reason of his death.”