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Asaduddin Owaisi dares BJP to show proof of AMU land claim
Says "real face of BJP coming out"; terms entire controversy as "nonsensical"
Friday November 28, 2014 9:50 PM, & Agencies

Asaduddin Owaisi, All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (MIM) President and Member of Parliament from Hyderabad Friday slammed the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) for its Uttar Pradesh unit's plan to mark the birth anniversary of Raja Mahendra Pratap inside the Aligarh Muslim Unoversity (AMU) campus.

Asaduddin Owaisi on AMU

Stating that the "real face of the BJP was coming out", Asaduddin Owaisi, who is also one of the members of the AMU Court, termed the whole controversy as "nonsensical".

"It is absolutely rubbish, it has no truth whatsoever in this claim. If such a claim they are making, then they should show the proof", Owaisi told reporters outside Parliament House.

"The land of Aligarh was purchased by the contribution of people of that time and Sir Syed (Ahmed Khan) played a very important role, he is the founder of the university. So this is nothing but to vitiate the atmosphere so that they can get some political mileage out of it," he added.

The Congress, Samajwadi Party (SP) and Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) too have criticised the BJP's proposed plan.

BSP supremo Mayawati said the Uttar Pradesh government should take the matter seriously and should not allow any such programme to be held.

The ruling Samajwadi Party in Uttar Pradesh has also said that they would not allow the event to be conducted and also not let any protest to be held there.

Slamming the BJP, Congress leader Manish Tewari said the VC's view should be taken "very seriously".

"The AMU is a central university. If the VC, who is charged with the responsibility of the administration, has a particular view, that view must be taken very seriously and nothing should be done, which in any manner vitiates the atmosphere of the university," Tewari said.

The BJP is facing criticism after it's Uttar Pradesh unit announced its plan to celebrate the birth anniversary of Raja Mahendra Pratap Singh, who, according to them, had donated the land within the campus for the university, on the varsity's campus Dec 1.

"We want to celebrate Pratap's birth anniversary as he is the one who gave the land," BJP's Aligarh leader Satish Goutam said in New Delhi.

The BJP's claim is also denied by the varsity.

"Raja Mahendra Pratap was a benefactor of the university and I also made it clear that he did not gift any land...The land was on a lease deed for which the university has paid," Vice Chancellor Lt Gen Zameer Uddin Shah while speaking to CNN-IBN.

"There are a lot of political parties on the fringe. My request is please put an end to this because we do not want communal trouble in Aligarh. My primary aim is to prevent law and order problem in the university," he said.

On being asked why they were not celebrating Pratap's 128th birth anniversary, Shah said: "There is no problem in celebrating.. We wanted to celebrate it ourselves but we will not be bulldozed or bullied by anybody. We will celebrate it, but we will celebrate it in our own way."

In a letter sent to Human Resource Development Minister Smriti Irani, the Vice Chancellor Lt Gen Zameer Uddin Shah warned of "massive unrest" and probability of "communal conflagration" if the proposed event is organised.

In his letter to the minister, Shah said: "In view of the threat of disturbance from these people, claiming to be affiliated to various political parties/outfits, another political outfit opposing them joined the fray and announced that they would not allow the rally to be held. This political gamesmanship, if allowed to proceed, has potential for serious trouble."

He, however, refused to name those who will create tensions.

Smriti Irani on the other hand said she had not received any letter sent by the AMU VC.

"I have not received the letter. As of last night 9 p.m. when I left the office, I did not receive any such letter."

On being asked about the tensions the VC has alluded to, she said: "I can only react to contents once I read them and I receive a letter."

Meanwhile, hundreds of students holding placards and shouting slogans staged an anti-BJP protest outside the university.

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