Rift in NDA over Aligarh varsity, Rohith's suicide

Rift in NDA over Aligarh varsity, Rohith's suicide

Differences in the NDA have cropped up over the government’s handling of minority issues, with  two coalition partners separately expressing their reservations on attempts to strip Aligarh Muslim University of its minority status and character assassination of Rohith Vemula by BJP leaders, respectively.

During the NDA meeting held recently, Union Minister Ram Vilas Paswan’s Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) questioned the Modi government’s stand before the Supreme Court that Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) cannot enjoy minority status on the grounds that it was against the Constitution.  
The party representing Dalits, also argued that it was providing fodder to Opposition to create an impression that the NDA was anti-Muslim, senior LJP sources said. 

After hearing the ally’s caveat on AMU, Parliamentary Affairs Minister M Venkaiah Naidu is said to have told the LJP representative that he would call a separate meeting on the issue raised by them. BJP president Amit Shah and senior Union ministers were present during the NDA meeting. The BJP, however, believes that AMU cannot enjoy minority status since it was born out of a Parliament Act.

 Defending the Modi government, the BJP had insisted that the centre cannot move away from the Constitutional position which was that central institutions have “secular characters”.  
Opposition parties, the Congress, TMC, JD(U), RJD, NCP, CPI, CPM and the AAP, have together criticised the Centre for pleading before the apex court that AMU cannot have minority tag. They will raise the issue during the upcoming Budget session.

Vemula death
In the same NDA meeting, Republican Party of India (Athawale) chief Ramdas Athawale criticised BJP leaders for branding Rohith Vemula, a Dalit scholar of Hyderabad Central University who committed suicide, as anti-national and Maoist which gave a wrong impression about the ruling party.

 The statements were exploited by the Opposition to present BJP as anti-Dalit, Rajya Sabha MP Athawale is believed to have told the NDA.

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