Somnath Bharti vs Chetan Bhagat over BJP and IIT alumni awards

Congratulating the IIT Alumni Award winners, including Chetan Bhagat, Somnath Bharti accused the eminent institution of succumbing under pressure from the ruling BJP.

Somnath Bharti vs Chetan Bhagat over BJP and IIT alumni awards

The Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Distinguished Alumni Award 2018 has triggered a war of words between Aam Aadmi Party leader Somnath Bharti and noted author Chetan Bhagat on microblogging site Twitter.

Congratulating the award winners, including Bhagat, the AAP leader accused the eminent institution of succumbing under pressure from the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). He alleged that his name had been removed from the award list because of pressure from the BJP.

Bharti said that if his name had been excluded because of him being a politician, that of Minister of State Jayant Sinha should also have been left out.

The AAP leader tweeted, “Congratulations to the Distinguished Alumni Award-2018 recipients Venkata N Padmanabhan, @sumant_sinha, Raghu Hari Dalmia, @chetan_bhagat but sorry to see IIT Delhi succumbing under BJP's pressure to exclude my name.”

“If the reason to exclude my name was myself being a political person was .@jayantsinha not a political person when you awarded him with DA award? Sorry to see that my Alma mater loses its autonomy even in selecting DA awardees. I condemn all those who pressurized you but....” he further said.

Reacting to it, Chetan Bhagat lashed out at Bharti, accusing him of maligning the names of IITs and the winners of the award. Terming Bharti’s charges as baseless, the author said that the IITs were fair, adding that the internal award of an institution was of no importance to the ruling BJP.

“I am sure you deserve it too sir but would request you not to malign my institute’s name and the others who have won, with your allegations that have no basis. The IITs are fair, and frankly don’t think the BJP cares about a college’s internal awards,” tweeted Chetan Bhagat, whose next book, ‘The Girl in Room 105 – an unlove story’, is set to be released in October.

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