New Delhi: Aam Aadmi Party member Yogendra Yadav, whose continuance as UGC member has come under cloud, Wednesday, asked the government whether it would have acted with similar "zeal" had he joined Congress.
Replying to the show-cause notice by the HRD Ministry, he said he was "saddened" by the idea that his position stands altered after joining AAP as it does not make clear how that could affect his academic credentials which has been basis for his nomination to UGC.
Yadav was served the notice last week citing conflict of interest as the ministry had noted that his antecedents and credentials at the time of his appointment in 2011 and now stand substantially altered.
Officials in the ministry appeared to remain adamant about his removal saying a decision on him is expected soon.
"It`s pointless to offer explanations to a government that is out to target a political opponent... I could offer my defence, as an accused does, but I won`t, for I refuse to be put in the dock.
"I have done no wrong, concealed nothing, nor violated any of the norms and values I uphold. I see no reason why I should offer anyone an explanation," he said in his seven-page reply to HRD Minister MM Pallam Raju.
"Someone might wonder if your government would have acted with similar zeal if I had joined the Congress party or has done so with similarly placed functionaries who have joined the ruling party," he said.
Taking potshots at the Ministry on the issue of conflict of interest, he said it is "curious" the Ministry focuses on this and not on the "brazen" conflict of interest which has been the bane of higher education policy in our country.
To buttress his point, he mentioned about a number of persons who own or run private universities and other private institutions and are members of UGC.
"There was a time when your government had packed the UGC with such members, those who needed to be regulated became the regulators.
"I need not recount tales of the deemed university scandal that rocked the UGC as a result of those nominations. It might look rather odd that a government that did nothing to prevent, and actually perpetuated this brazen conflict of interest, has now discovered such a conflict in a decidedly less obvious case," he said.