Shimla: AICC general secretary Birender Singh on Saturday demanded a probe into the former Haryana minister Gopal Kanda`s purported investment in a private university in Himachal Pradesh and his connections with state leaders.
"The BJP government is facing allegations of facilitating the tainted minister by obliging him to invest in a private university. It should make public the details of his investment in the state and also the politicians who helped him," said Singh, who is in-charge of party affairs in Himachal.
Congress has always been opposing the policy of the BJP government, which has become synonymous with the "land mafia" by promoting private universities in the state, he said.
"These are simply money-minting machines and most of the universities are run by those who did not have even knowledge about education and in fact are actually a ploy to invest black money," the Congress leader alleged.
Even the ABVP, a student wing of BJP, accused the state government of promoting private educational institutions and universities in the state, and a survey conducted by ABVP, "Education is for sale", also said that Himachal government had been providing land to "outsiders" by relaxing norms, he said.
He alleged that a number of private universities in Solan district far exceeded government colleges and there was no reservation policy for Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and Other Backward Classes (OBCs) and the fee structure was also high.
"What was the compulsion of Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal in allowing so many private universities at the cost of its own Himachal Pradesh University in Shimla where the standard of education has deteriorated over the years," he said.
Singh said that Congress, if voted back to power, would investigate all the permissions granted to 16 universities and alleged that "the managements of all universities have purchased land from poor farmers by posing as educational charitable trusts".
Kanda is in jail for allegedly abetting the suicide of 23-year-old former air hostess Geetika Sharma.