PAUTA rift widens as Mahal offers to put in his papers

The Punjab Agricultural University Teachers’ Association has plunged into a deep crisis after its President Dr M S Mahal offered to relinquish his post.

Written by Express News Service | Ludhiana | Published: January 19, 2009 1:50 am

The Punjab Agricultural University Teachers’ Association (PAUTA) has plunged into a deep crisis after its President Dr M S Mahal offered to relinquish his post. In a letter addressed to the association,Vice-President Baldev Singh Sohal,Mahal has offered to resign citing personal reasons.

It has been learnt that the difference of opinion over PAUTA’s stand on the sexual harassment case,suspension of a PAU research station head and interviews for vacant posts are the contenting issues which made Mahal take the extreme step.

Mukesh Siag,general secretary,PAUTA,said,“We will decide on the issue on Tuesday and a final decision will be announced thereafter.” Mahal,meanwhile,refused to comment on the issue saying,“I have nothing to say on the matter.”

Owing to a confrontation between Mahal and Siag over certain issues,the difference of opinion came to a boil during the past two meetings,one of which was held today.

It has been learnt that Mahal is opposed to the use of harsh words against Vice-Chancellor Dr MS Kang in various communications sent by the association.

Sources say that PAUTA had drafted a memorandum that was to be submitted to the V-C. According to the memorandum,the PAUTA had demanded fulfilment of their demands failing which,the association threatened to hold a protest rally.

Dr Mahal,as per the sources,advised the younger lot in his executive to first initiate a dialogue with the V-C before moving any further.

It has also been learnt that a new PAUTA head was announced by the rival faction. After Sohal also walked out of the meeting,the matter was adjourned to Tuesday.

Former PAUTA president Dr A S Joshi said,“It is an unfortunate incident.”

Citing the PAUTA constitution,he added,“The executive cannot name any new president. According to the PAUTA constitution,if Dr Mahal does not take charge of his office,Dr Sohal who is the vice-president of the association will act as the president till the next elections.”

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