Kamal Nath government suspends lecturer for Facebook post predicting big win for BJP in Lok Sabha polls

Rajeshwar Shastri Musalgaonkar, a Sanskrit lecturer of Vikram University, Ujjain, was placed under suspension on May 7 and also attached to another department for predicting that BJP will win in the Lok Sabha polls.

Vikram University, Madhya Pradesh, Kamal Nath government
Rajeshwar Shastri Musalgaonkar was heading the Department of Sanskrit-Ved-Jyotirvigyan at Vikram University before he was attached to another department.

The Kamal Nath government in Madhya Pradesh has suspended a lecturer after he predicted a mega win for the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the Lok Sabha elections. According to a report in The Indian Express, the state government suspended Rajeshwar Shastri Musalgaonkar, a Sanskrit lecturer of Vikram University, Ujjain, on disciplinary grounds. It said that the state government’s Higher Education Department had recommended disciplinary action against Shastri under MP Universities Act, 1973. Shastri was placed under suspension on May 7 and also attached to another department.

Shastri, in his Facebook post, had predicted that the BJP will return to power for a second consecutive term with a brute majority. He had made this forecast based on astrology. “BJP 300 ke paas aur NDA 300 ke paar (BJP near 300 seats and NDA more than 300),” the lecturer said in his Facebook post on April 29.

Speaking to The Indian Express, Shastri, 55, claimed that he is politically neutral and his prediction was not intended to benefit any political party. The lecturer added that his post was only a response to a student’s query. Shastri heads the Department of Sanskrit-Ved-Jyotirvigyan at Vikram University.

About his prediction, Shastri said that he was analysing the current political scenario in the country and predicting the impact of planets on political parties. Shastri claimed that a student posted the comment on Facebook using his mobile phone without his knowledge. The lecturer said that he deleted the post from Facebook when it was brought his knowledge and apologised.

Shastri also said that he will move the High Court challenging the government’s suspension order, adding that he was not given an opportunity to present his case.

The action against Shahtri was initiated on a complaint filed by an Ujjain-based Youth Congress worker. State Youth Congress secretary Babloo Khinchi had filed a complaint with Ujjain district returning officer, arguing that the prediction by Shastri, who is a government employee, in support of a particular political party is a violation of the Model Code of Conduct and punishable under the MP Civil Services (Conduct) Rules. Babloo also said that a BJP worker tweeted Shahtri’s prediction to influence voting.

The officer then recommended suspension of Shastri and wrote to the divisional commissioner.

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