Mumbai: Two days after senior Mumbai University (MU) faculty member Yogesh Soman was sent on forced leave after he posted a video criticising Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, Maharashtra Congress leader, on Wednesday (January 15) said the action should not be construed as "intolerance".

Congress spokesperson Sachin Sawant said the action was aimed at "cleansing the education system".

Soman, director of the department of Academy of Theatre Arts, had posted a video criticising Rahul Gandhi over his remarks, "I am Rahul Gandhi and not Rahul Savarkar" which the latter had made at a public meeting in Delhi.

Students of Congress-affiliated National Students Union of India (NSUI) and other bodies had demanded action against Soman and also held a sit-in protest at the Kalina campus of the MU.

Reacting to this, senior BJP leader Ashish Shelar questioned whether the action against Soman was not intolerance.

"It is learnt that Congress and the Left-wing students have threatened Yogesh Soman. Isn't this an act of intolerance?" the BJP leader questioned.

The academy presently has about 85 students across both years, and 50 students enrolled for a diploma in acting skills.

In 2019, Soman had posted a video on social media sites, addressing the Congress leader, Rahul Gandhi. 

The video was made after Gandhi, in a rally said, "I'm Rahul Gandhi, not Rahul Savarkar." The Congress leader had said this after he was asked to apologise for his comments on "rape in India".

In the video, Soman says, "You truly aren't Savarkar. The truth is, you aren't a true Gandhi either. You don't have any of the value,” adding that he protests against "Gandhi's Pappugiri".