Cong seeks Prez help to protect its state govts
A high-level Congress delegation today met President Pranab Mukherjee and sought his intervention to protect the duly-elected non-BJP governments in states, alleging that after Arunachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand party dispensations there could be targeted.
New Delhi: A high-level Congress delegation today met President Pranab Mukherjee and sought his intervention to protect the duly-elected non-BJP governments in states, alleging that after Arunachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand party dispensations there could be targeted.
The delegation led by Congress leader in the Lok Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge and comprising among others former Union Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde, brought up the issue when they called on Mukherjee over the situation in Hyderabad Central University in the wake of suicide by Dalit scholar Rohith Vemula.
A senior party leader, who was in the delegation, said the President was apprised of the apprehension about Congress governments in other states being targeted by the Modi government.
Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh, who has accused the Modi dispensation of trying to "destabilise and topple" his government by using central agencies, had yesterday met Congress President Sonia Gandhi against the backdrop of imposition of President's Rule in party-ruled Uttarakhand.
The Congress delegation's meeting with the President came on a day when Uttarakhand High Court ordered a floor test in the state Assembly on March 31.
In a memoraundum on the HCU issue, the delegation demanded immediate suspension of Vice Chancellor P Appa Rao, pending inquiry into his role in Vemula's suicide as also the recent "illegal" crackdown on students.
This, they said, was necessary in the best academic interest and important for restoring a peaceful environment at University and for ensuring a fair investigation. President is the Visitor of the University.
"A reign of terror, in total disregard to laid down principles of natural justice and basic rights to freedom, has been let loose by the University administration, which has converted this institution of learning into a locked up and opaque concentration camp, where police atrocities on students and faculty reminds one of the crackdowns undertaken by colonial rulers," it alleged.
The delegation also demanded that Union Ministers Smriti Irani and Bandaru Dattatreya, who were alleged to have put pressure on HCU authorities to act against Dalit students, including Vemula, be asked to step down till the inquiry has been completed.
The delegation also included Shiela Dikshit, Anand Sharma, Randeep Surjewala, R P N Singh and Rajeev Satav.