The BJP has declared to celebrate the birth anniversary of “Jat King” Raja Mahendra Pratap Singh at an entrance to the Aligarh Muslim University campus on December 1, inviting sharp reactions from ruling Samajwadi Party which termed the move as one that will “fuel hatred”.
The BJP claims that the land on which AMU stands was donated by Raja Mahendra, a claim contested by university authorities.
The controversy erupted soon after state BJP chief Laxmikant Bajpai announced that he will celebrate the “Jat King’s” birth anniversary at AMU. “AMU celebrates its founder’s birth anniversary as Sir Syed Day. I have no objection to that. Raja Mahendra donated land for the university, then what is the harm in celebrating his birthday,” Bajpai told The Indian Express. He even visited Aligarh a week ago and directed local party workers to prepare for the event.
“I am not afraid of any government. The day is not far off when we will celebrate Raja Mahendra’s birthday inside the campus,” he said.
Samajwadi Party MLA Zameerullah Khan alleged that BJP wants to create Muzaffarnagar like situation in Aligarh by creating differences between Jats and Muslims. “I have given written representation to ministers and Assembly Speaker Mata Prasad Pandey for restraining Bajpai from going head with such celebrations. The BJP now wants to attack AMU. There is no precedent of to celebrating Raja Mahendra’s birthday,” Khan said.
Meanwhile, AMU administration claimed that it had no records to justify Bajpai’s claims, but added that Raja Mahendra’s father Raja Ghanshiam Singh had got one room constructed in MAO College. “The MAO was constructed much before Raja Mahendra was born,” Rahat Abrar, PRO of AMU, said.