The district administration in Meerut was forced to cancel a free laptop distribution function to be held in a college Saturday due to rivalry between a Samajwadi Party minister and a Rajya Sabha MP belonging to the Bahujan Samaj Party.
As many as 415 students of K R College — owned by BSP MP Munquad Ali — were to receive free laptops as part of the state government’s free laptop scheme. But the function was reportedly cancelled at the behest of Minister of State for Labour and Employment Shahid Manzoor. The laptops, which were sent to the college Friday, were even taken back late night.
Incidentally, Manzoor distributed nearly 1,500 laptops at four different functions in Meerut Saturday.
“We were informed 15 days ago that the state government will distribute free laptops to our students at a function Saturday. All formalities were completed,” Ali said.
He also said the district administration later informed that the function will be held Sunday and Chief Development Officer (CDO) V P Mishra will distribute the laptops.
“We had no objection to it, as it is a government function. We made all arrangements and informed the students to come on Sunday,” added Ali.
In a sudden change of events, however, the administration is said to have informed him that the function has been postponed indefinitely and that the laptops had to be returned. “At 9 pm Friday, they arrived in a truck and took back the laptops from the college. They did not cite any reason,” he said .
Ali said he called up the District Magistrate (DM) to find out the reason behind the action.
“DM Navdeep Rinwa told me that everything is being done at the behest of Manzoor. The students are suffering due to the minister’s autocratic style of functioning,” he added.
Manzoor, meanwhile, denied any role in the cancellation of the laptop distribution function at the BSP MP’s college. “I avoid places that bring controversy. But since I live in Kithore it is against the protocol that the CDO should distribute laptops instead of me,” he added.
He said he is not