Bhopal: Rajya Sabha MP Professor Rakesh Sinha on Saturday hit out at Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath claiming the Congress government in the state was targeting academicians out of political vendetta.
Recently, alleging gross anomalies, the Makhanlal Chaturvedi National University of Journalism and Communication, Bhopal, lodged an FIR against 20 persons including former VC BK Kuthiyala along with 18 other officials on charges of fraud and criminal breach of trust.
Prof Sinha who earlier served the university as a guest faculty (on deputation) is also accused of getting appointment against norms.
Defending himself, Prof Sinha stressed his ‘excellent’ academic record adding he is a professor at Delhi University (DU) for years and claimed he wasn’t jobless when he was invited for being faculty on deputation by the journalism varsity of Bhopal.
Under the banner of Academicians for Freedom, Sinha and others handed memorandum to Governor Anandiben Patel requesting her to get the FIR quashed.
“It was a matter of services being transferred between DU and Makhanlal University and I did not receive any salary from the two places,” said Sinha. Claiming that it was wrongly publicised that he was in need of money, Sinha said that though he received Rs five lakh as reward from the President and instead of getting her ailing mother treated, he donated the sum to a needy Dalit family.
Sinha alleged that the Kamal Nath government was creating an emergency like situation in MP by trampling the academicians. “The academicians would take to streets to oppose this attitude,” he claimed.
Accusing the Kamal Nath government of disrespecting constitutional bodies, Prof Sinha alleged the Vice President of India was the chancellor of the university but his permission wasn’t sought for the new VC’s appointment and also not before lodging FIRs against faculty members, which according to him was a ‘first’ in free India.
He added that the enquiry committee did not even seek any reply from the persons concerned.
The MP went on to claim that seven Congress MLAs were upset with the developments at the university and three of them have even met Kamal Nath expressing their dissent.
He however did not reveal the names of the MLAs claiming it wasn’t a proper thing to do in elections.
Hitting back at Prof Sinha, MPCC media coordinator Narendra Saluja in a communique claimed that when latter's anomalies are detected and the economic offences wing is probing the issue, he is suddenly remembering morality and politicization of education. “Let him remember it was the former VC who splurged varsity funds on ABVP and RSS affiliated bodies. In the manner he is leveling baseless allegations on the CM after being exposed needs no clarification,” he added.
The MP govt has appointed the VC through a three-member search committee, he clarified.
On his alleged absence from classes, Sinha claimed as per the contract, he was required to undertake six hours of academic work per month in Bhopal.
Defending allegations of RSS, Sinha claimed that no RSS affiliated organisation benefitted financially with the university funds as propagated in media reports.
The Rajya Sabha MP also alleged that details of the charges framed by the fact finding committee of the university were leaked to media which suggested that it was an ‘attempt’ to defame academicians.
Sinha targeted MP Chief Minister Kamal Nath by saying that he was an accused in anti-Sikh riots. He also called Nath anti-Dalit saying among 20 faculty members, some of them are SCs and STs.
He also linked Nath’s alleged anti-Dalit sentiments to less votes received by his party in some Dalit pockets and highlighted that several Dalit intellectuals opposing Congress in assembly polls.
He also threatened defamation suits to those who would defame him in the case and also said he would get breach of privilege notices served to them by the virtue of him being the Member of Parliament.
He also accused Nath of disrespecting former PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee by allegedly throwing out the plaques carrying Vajpayee’s name from the university.
Dipendra Baghel, the registrar of the university declined to comment on the entire issue.