Days after Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath demanded quota for Dalits in minority-run institutions, the Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) clarified that it has never followed the policy of reserving seats on the basis of religion or caste. In a press statement, the university clarified that AMU has never followed the policy of reserving seats for Muslims. “It rather reserves 50 per cent seats for internal students regardless of their religion or caste,” the university said.
At a public meeting in Kannauj, Adityanath had raised the demand for reservation for Dalits in minority-run institutions like the AMU and Jamia Millia Islamia. “Ek prashna yeh bhi pucha jana chahiye jo keh rahe hain ki Dalit ka apman ho raha hai… ki akhir Dalit bhaiyon ko Aligarh Muslim University aur Jamia Millia University mein bhi arakshan dene ka labh milna chahiye, is baat ko uthane ka karya kab karenge. (One question should be raised to all those who are saying that Dalits are being humiliated … when will they ask for reservation for our Dalit brothers in Aligarh Muslim University and Jamia Millia Islamia),” he had said. “If BHU can give it to Dalits and backwards then why not in Aligarh Muslim University?” the chief minister asked.
AMU further clarified that the university is being ‘governed by the AMU Act 1981 which has granted minority status to it and the minority institutions are exempted by the Article 15 (5) from implementing constitutional reservations’.
The case relating to AMU’s minority status is sub judice in the Supreme Court. The previous Congress-led UPA government had moved a petition in the apex court against the Allahabad High Court judgment which held that AMU is not a minority institution.
The current NDA government, however, withdrew the UPA-era petition filed against the Allahabad High Court order and maintained that AMU is not a minority institution.