LUCKNOW: In a major decision which may snowball into another controversy, Banaras Hindu University (BHU) has proposed to remove the name of the late former PM Rajiv Gandhi from its South Campus at Barkachha, in UP’s Mirzapur district.
The BHU court, at its 63rd meeting on December 9, made a recommendation to this effect. The meeting was presided over by university chancellor Justice Giridhar Malviya (Retd), who is the grandson of BHU founder Mahaman Madan Mohan Malviya.
He said that the court members were unanimous in proposing the removal of Rajiv Gandhi’s name from the South Campus.
The south campus in Mirzapur was inaugurated on August 19, 2006, by then HRD minister Arjun Singh.
Congress, however, has strongly opposed the proposal and threatened with fierce protests against any such “misadventure”.
As per the Justice (retd) Malviya, the BHU court has decided to recommend the change in name to the academic council and the final decision in the issue would lie with the executive council.
Members of the BHU court who attended the meeting included Prof Anand Mohan, Dr A K Singh, Prof Bachcha Singh, Prof Ashim Kumar Mukherjee, Dr Ram Naresh Mishra, Prof Arvind Kumar, Prof Bharatendu K Singh, Dr Sanjay Srivastava, Vandana Jha, Dr Om Prakash, Dr Mahendra Kumar Gupta, Prof Rajeev Sijaria, Dr Sriram Verma, Prof Jitendra Prasad, Dr K D Tripathi, Prof Santosh Kumar, Prof Rekha Chaturvedi, Dr Hemendra Singh Chandalia, Prof Aruna Saraswat, Prof Anand Paliwal, Suman Kumar, Dr Raksha Singh, Prof Sudha Sinha, Prof S S Savrikar, Dr K V S S Narayan Rao, Dr S K Verma, Dr S K Subraya, Prof Chandrakant Dwayandev Lokhande, Aniket Diwakar Kale, and Prof Aditya Tripathi.
The meeting was also attended by the registrar, Dr Neeraj Tripathi; the rector, Prof V K Shukla; the finance officer, Dr Abhay Kumar Thakur; and comptroller of examinations M K Pandey. The Rajiv Gandhi South campus is spread over 2,600 acres.
It was set up in Mirzapur to provide education, training and entrepreneurship skills among youth and women, especially those belonging to tribal communities and weaker sections of the society.
Senior Congress politician and former MLA Ajay Rai warned of an agitation if Rajiv Gandhi’s name was removed.
“We will fight against any such move by BHU,” said Rai, accusing the central government of doing nothing new except changing names of institutions.