After facing allegations of political interference in the administrative and academic affairs of Hyderabad University– where a research scholar Rohith Vemula had allegedly committed suicide — the Union HRD ministry has been targetted by Allahabad University Vice-Chancellor RL Hangloo. He said that “political interference” had brought the administrative machinery of the varsity to a “standstill” and that the HRD ministry should remove him from the office and instead, allow any MP or MLA to take charge of the university. The VC offered to resign and resume teaching if the ministry so wished.
Hangloo made these remark to the media after his office received a fax letter from the HRD ministry on Tuesday afternoon directing the university to provide an offline entrance test option along with the online test for admission to post graduate courses.
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University sources said that the VC was unhappy with the HRD ministry’s decision because it came after political interference from the BJP, SP and Congress.
MPs and MLAs from these parties had visited the campus last week and met the students’ union leaders on hunger strike demanding the off line entrance test option.
Sources said that a delegation of BJP leaders including Kaushambi MP Vinod Sonkar, Chandauli MP Mahendra Nath Pandey, Bhadohi MP Virendra Singh Mast, MLA Krishna Paswan, MLC and Kashi region president Laxman Acharya and party state general secretary Swatantra Deo Singh had met students on campus . These leaders reportedly communicated the demands of the agitating students to the HRD ministry in Delhi.
SP MLAs including Satyaveer Singh Munna, Handia MLA Prashant Singh, MLC Vasudeo Yadav; Congress MLA from Allahabad North Anugrah Narayan Singh and Lucknow Cantonment MLA Rita Bahuguna Joshi also met the students and had assured them they would convey their demands to ‘higher ups’.
The students’ union of the university had been in news for the last one year following instances of clashes of its four office bearers—from the ABVP — with Samajwadi Chhatra Sabha supported-president Richa Singh. Richa recently joined the SP. However, on this issue of an off line entrance test, all the members of the union are united and jointly staged hunger strike on campus.
The university was in the news for political reasons too last year when Richa had opposed the visit of BJP Gorakhpur MP Yogi Adityanath who was invited by other union leaders. Richa had said that Yogi was a communal and controversial leader. Fearing unrest, the administration had canceled programme of Yogi on campus.
In January this year, the ABVP members of the students’ union had opposed Richa’s invitation to former editor of The Hindu Siddharth Varadarajan as chief guest at a seminar. The ABVP argued that Varadarajan was a controversial man who wrote pro-Naxal and anti-national articles. Following protests, the seminar was organised outside the campus.