The Punjab assembly on Thursday has passed a resolution recommending the state government to urge the Centre not to alter the ‘status’ of Panjab University. However, the BJP, with its two MLAs, Ashwani Sharma and Jangi Lal Mahajan, opposed it, asking whether there was actually a proposal to change the status of the institution into a central university.
The resolution was moved by Gurmeet Singh Meet Hayer, education minister, Punjab, who stated Punjab had a right over the Panjab University and the state government would not allow the Centre to change its nature and character. “Panjab University is our heritage, and it is a matter of identity for us,” the minister said.
“This House is concerned about the attempts being made by some vested interests to push the matter for change of status of Panjab University into a Central University on one pretext or another,” the resolution stated.
“This House strongly and unanimously feels that any decision to change the character of Panjab University won’t be acceptable to the people of Punjab and therefore, strongly recommends that no change in the nature and character of this university should be considered by the government of India,” it added.
The resolution said that any proposal for the same, if under consideration, should be dropped with immediate effect. “This House strongly recommends to the state government to take up the matter with the central government so as not to alter the nature and character of the Panjab University,” it added.
Participating in the discussion, BJP MLA Jangi Lal Mahajan said, “When there is no proposal, then what is the need for this resolution?” Congress MLA Pargat Singh, however, supported the resolution, stating that the emotions of the people of Punjab were connected with PU.
Congress legislator Sukhpal Singh Khaira accused the Centre of trying to take over PU from Punjab.
Over a week ago, Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann had sought the intervention of Union ministers Amit Shah and Dharmendra Pradhan to prevent ‘any change in the nature and character of the Panjab University’.
With inputs from PTI.