JD-U, Congress spar over AMU event

In a bid to avoid a political row with the ruling Janata Dal-United (JD-U) in Bihar, the Centre on Tuesday invited state Education Minister P K Shahi for the foundation laying ceremony of Aligarh Muslim University’s (AMU) centre in Kishenganj district by Congress president Sonia Gandhi on January 30.

This comes a day after Shahi lodged a protest with the Human Resource Development Ministry for not being invited to the event.

Shahi reportedly sent a letter to the HRD Ministry, saying the event of a government institution could not be a “political programme” for electoral gains.

“The AMU vice-chancellor sent him an invitation yesterday (on Monday) only. We faxed him an invitation from here again today (Tuesday). How can we not invite him to the function? After all, it’s the Bihar government which has given land for setting up the AMU centre,” a senior ministry official told Deccan Herald.

The ministry also faxed a separate invitation to Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, requesting his presence at the event.

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