The Punjab Assembly on Thursday passed a resolution recommending the state government to urge the Center not to change the “status” of Panjab University. However, the BJP, with its two MLAs, Ashwani Sharma and Jangi Lal Mahajan, opposed it, asking if there was actually a proposal to change the institution’s status into a central university.
The resolution was tabled by Gurmeet Singh Meet Hayer, education minister, Punjab, who stated that Punjab was entitled to Panjab University and that the state government would not allow the center to change its nature and character. “Panjab University is our heritage and it is a matter of identity for us,” said the minister.
“This House is concerned about the efforts of some vested interests to change the status of Panjab University into a Central University under one pretext or another,” the resolution said.
“This House strongly and unanimously believes that any decision to change the character of Panjab University will not be acceptable to the people of Punjab and therefore strongly recommends that no change in the nature and character of this university be considered by the government of India,” it added.
The resolution stated that any proposal to that effect, if considered, should be withdrawn with immediate effect. “This House strongly recommends that the state government address the matter with the central government so as not to alter the nature and character of Panjab University,” it added.
Joining the discussion, BJP MLA Jangi Lal Mahajan said, “If there is no proposal, then what is the need for this resolution?” However, Congress MLA Pargat Singh backed the resolution and stated that the emotions of the people of Punjab were related to PU.
Congress legislator Sukhpal Singh Khaira accused the Center of trying to take over PU from Punjab.
More than a week ago, Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann had requested the intervention of Union Ministers Amit Shah and Dharmendra Pradhan to prevent “any change in the nature and character of the Panjab University”.
With input from PTI.
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