Senior Congress leader Ghulab Nabi Azad has now confirmed jantakareporter.com story that the Union HRD Minister Smriti Irani had indeed insulted the Aligarh Muslim University Vice Chancellor, Lt General (Retd) Zameeruddin Shah.
jantakareporter.com on 29 February reported how Irani, while threatening to close down the AMU’s off-centre campuses, insulted the VC.
This was in response to Gen Shah’s reply that he was at the meeting venue at the invitation of the Kerala chief minister Oommen Chandy.
Soon after we reported the story, some reports suggested that the VC had denied being at the meeting.
But the Indian Expressed on Saturday quoted Azad as saying that the VC was present in the meeting originally reported by us.
“I have not spoken to the V-C. But the CM and Basheer told me that it was at their request that the V-C had come. The CM had invited him so that he can brief the minister, if need be,” Azad was quoted by the paper.
“If this is the attitude of the NDA government, I am sure they will make efforts to see to it that the minority character of the university is finished,”
On whether his party will raise the issue in Parliament, he said “mere raising of the issue during Zero Hour is not enough. We will have to raise the issue in a big way which means a serious discussion. The government owes an explanation on how can they arbitrarily stop funding centres which have been duly approved by the university, HRD Ministry and the President, who is a Visitor”.
He said section 12(2) of the AMU act permits setting up of such centres. “This once again proves that the BJP is anti-minority and anti-minority institutions.”
Azad’s revelation came on the day Gen Shah met Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Delhi asking him to restore the university’s minority status and allay the fears among minority community.