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Jabalpur varsity V-C quits over ‘political interference’

Citing political interference and an alleged conspiracy to malign his image,Vice-Chancellor of Rani Durgavati University,Jabalpur,Dr S M Pal Khurana...

Citing political interference and an alleged conspiracy to malign his image,Vice-Chancellor of Rani Durgavati University,Jabalpur,Dr S M Pal Khurana,resigned on Saturday,immediately after the annual

convocation.

Despite agreeing to preside over the convocation,Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan and Education Minister Archana Chitnis backed out at the last moment prompting Khurana to resign. The V-C said he was hurt by the humiliation.

Speaker Ishwardas Rohani,who is an MLA from Jabalpur,also did not turn up claiming that his name was included in the invitation card without his knowledge. Though Khurana

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did not admit it openly,he is said to be not on good terms with Rohani.

In his resignation letter faxed to the Governor,Khurana said he was resigning due to “interference”. “There was interference of all sorts. When they started interfering in petty matters I made up my mind,” Khurana told The Indian Express.

Khurana,64,was given another extension a year ago after he completed his four-year term. Since he faxed his resignation to Raj Bhavan on Saturday,any action by the Governor or the state government would take place only on Monday.

An inquiry had been ordered against Khurana after a Bhopal MLA had raised the matter in the Assembly in March this year. Secretary,Higher Education,Ashish Upadhyay,who carried out the probe,had found prima facie charges of irregularities against Khurana to be true and had recommended the government to use its emergency powers to remove him.

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“The charges against me were concocted,” he said,claiming that a group of people were working against him at the behest of one person but did not name him. Rohani,his obvious target,denied the allegation saying he did even call the V-C once.

“I started hearing the talk that the state government is going to use Section 52 of the MP University Act to remove me since 2005. Why was I given the extension then,” he argued when asked whether his resignation was a move to pre-empt the impending action against him. The matter was raised in the Assembly by a person who had nothing to do with the university or Jabalpur,he said in reference to Bhopal MLA Vishwas Sarang.

The probe report against Khurana also pointed that an honorary degree was awarded to Chhindwara MP Kamal Nath at the latter’s Delhi residence in violation of every norm related to award of such a degree.

First published on: 26-10-2009 at 04:03:12 am
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