Row over BJP plan to hold function in AMU

Row over BJP plan to hold function in AMU

A row erupted on Friday over Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) plans to celebrate the birth anniversary of freedom fighter Raja Mahendra Pratap at the Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) campus on December 1.

After a day-long drama, however, Uttar Pradesh state unit of the BJP and the AMU authorities reached a compromise formula on celebration of the birth anniversary of Pratap, who was an alumnus of the varsity and one of the donors of land for the establishment of the institution. He was closely associated with the founder of the varsity, Sir Syed Ahmad Khan.

While the BJP leaders and workers agreed to celebrate Pratap’s birth anniversary at a location outside the varsity campus where a statue of the freedom fighter was installed, the university proposed to organise a seminar inside the campus to mark the occasion.

“They (BJP) have assured us that they will celebrate Raja Mahendra Pratap’s birth anniversary outside the varsity campus where a statue of the free fighter is installed. We will organise a seminar inside the campus,” AMU vice-chancellor Zameer Uddin Shah told a news channel in the evening, referring to his talks with BJP’s Aligarh MP Satish Gautam, who was spearheading the party’s plan.

When contacted, Aligarh MP confirmed that a compromise formula was worked out.
“AMU VC is right.  We have agreed that we will celebrate the birth anniversary of Raja Mahendra Pratap at Tasveer Mahal where his statue is installed. It is outside the varsity campus. The university will organise a seminar inside the campus to mark the occasion,” he told Deccan Herald.

Earlier, the varsity’s vice chancellor told mediapersons that he wrote a letter to the Human Resource Development Ministry, warning of a potential “communal conflagration” and “massive student unrest” in the AMU campus in wake of the BJP’s plan to celebrate birth anniversary of Pratap.

HRD Minister Smriti Irani, however, denied that she received any such letter from the vice chancellor on the issue, telling reporters, “I can only react to contents once I read them and I receive a letter.”

The BJP planned to celebrate his birth anniversary to honour him as he had donated large tracts of land for establishment of the varsity.
DH News Service

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