Aligarh Muslim University on Tuesday rejected Bihar government’s claim that Chief Minister Nitish Kumar was not invited to the foundation stone laying ceremony of its centre in Kishanganj on January 31 and said the institution held him in high respect for his support.
AMU Vice-Chancellor Zameeruddin Shah said the “confusion” could be due to a “mix-up” in the CM’s office, adding that he has already sent a second invitation through fax and speed post and was trying to personally get in touch with Kumar.
The foundation stone of the centre would be laid by UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi. “The programme was finalised just four days back on January 24 and the very next day, we faxed an invitation to the Bihar Chief Minister and the Governor. We also sent an invitation through speed post,” Shah said.
He said that the Governor’s office has acknowledged receiving both the invitations. “There is no question whatsoever of showing the slightest disrespect to the CM, whom we hold in highest respect as he has been very kind to us in allotting land,” Shah said.
“It seems that there is some mix up in his office which has led to this confusion,” he said, adding he was personally trying “to get in touch with the Bihar CM on phone. “I have already send a second invitation through fax and speed post.”
Bihar government had on Monday registered a protest with the Centre saying it was not invited to the function. State Education minister PK Shahi wrote a letter to Union Human Resources Development minister MM Pallam Raju.
While Vice-Chancellor of AMU has requested the presence of the Governor of Bihar for the occasion, no such invitation has been sent to the state government, Shahi had said in his letter.
“The foundation-laying is being done keeping the state government in complete dark and isolation. What is more intriguing is rather than HRD requesting, the Vice Chancellor of the university writing to the Governor of the state to be present at the occasion,” he said.
“You would not disagree that the foundation-laying ceremony of a government institution cannot be a political programme nor it can be aimed at as an election plank,” he said. “AMU is a central government institution and any activity including foundation-laying ceremony has to be a government function,” Shahi said.
The Bihar minister reminded Raju that the state government has made available about 224 acres of land free of cost for setting up of the AMU centre at Kisanganj.
“All of a sudden, when general election to the Parliament is to be held in next couple of months, foundation-laying by the president of the Congress party has been scheduled. What is more surprising is that there is no intimation to the state government in this regard,” he said.
Courtesy: IBN Live