Nagpur University: VC should explain why seminar on Indian democracy cancelled, says Sitaram Yechury

Yechury came to Nagpur despite cancellation of the programme, after the humanities department of Doctor Ambedkar College invited him to deliver a lecture on the same subject.

By: Express News Service | Nagpur | Published: March 19, 2017 4:09 am

CPI(M) leader Sitaram Yechury Saturday said there was “obviously something” behind the sudden cancellation of a seminar in Nagpur, where he was supposed to deliver a lecture on Indian democracy, and it was for the Vice-Chancellor of Nagpur University to explain that. Yechury refrained from answering in the affirmative when asked if he suspected RSS and affiliated organisations to be behind the cancellation. “I don’t know. It is for the V-C to explain why this is happening. I got the invitation card where I was mentioned to be the chief guest and the V-C himself was mentioned as the president. I was also sent air tickets. And suddenly the programme was cancelled. Obviously there was something,” Yechury said in reply to a question at a media interaction at Deekshabhoomi here.

Yechury came to Nagpur despite cancellation of the programme, after the humanities department of Doctor Ambedkar College invited him to deliver a lecture on the same subject.

Yechury said the doubts expressed over the possible law and order problem due to his visit were unfounded. “The authorities concerned about law and order should tell. Ever since I came here, everything has been peaceful,” he said.

Yechury further said, “The incident has raised certain questions of which answers will have to be found and we will fight for it democratically.” He also indirectly criticised the Sangh parivar for what has been witnessed in Delhi University, Hyderabad university and JNU over the past some time. “They themselves are claiming to be behind it. So what do we say now,” he said.

Asked about the RSS allegations of Left violence against its cadre in Kerala, Yechury said, “Eleven people have been killed since the assembly elections there. Of them, seven are our cadre. This chain started with the killing of our man at a victory procession. So who’s responsible for starting it?” he asked.

About the possibility of a mega-alliance against the BJP in the 2019 General Elections, Yechury said, “We will strive for Left unity and like-minded parties coming together. The rest will depend on the situation that will arise at that time.”

The controversy

The Ambedkar Chair of Rashtrasant Tukdoji Maharaj University of Nagpur had organised a two-day national seminar on March 18 and 19. But V-C Siddharth Kane “indefinitely postponed” it allegedly due to pressure from some quarters. He had reportedly told a delegation led by former minister and Congress ex-MLA Nitin Raut that he anticipated a law-and-order problem and hence postponed the programme. Kane later told The Indian Express that there were procedural infirmities in the sanctioning of the programme and that was the reason for the postponement. He, however, did not refute reports about his citing a law-and-order problem.

Sources told The Indian Express that there indeed were some procedural lapses highlighted by a section of the media, prompting the V-C to rethink the programme. But when specifically asked by The Indian Express on Friday as to whether Yechuri was welcome at the rescheduled programme, Kane said: “We will see that later.”

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