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Jinnah row: Now Haryana Minister jumps into controversy, wants Aligarh Muslim University renamed after Raja Mahendra Pratap Singh

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New Delhi | Updated: May 14, 2018 12:06:31 PM

The controversy over Muhammad Ali Jinnah's portrait began on May 2 when Aligarh BJP MP Satish Gautam drafted a letter to AMU Vice-Chancellor Tariq Mansoor seeking clarification as to why Jinnah's image was being displayed within the university premises.

AMU, Aligarh Muslim University, Haryana, Haryana Finance Minister, Raja Mahendra Pratap, Captain Abhimanyu, Aligarh Muslim University, AMU Vice Chancellor, Jinnah portrait, Jinnah portrait row, Tariq Mansoor, Satish GautamHaryana Finance Minister Captain Abhimanyu (Express photo by Jaipal Singh)

Amidst a massive row over Pakistan founder Muhammad Ali Jinnah’s picture inside the Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) campus, Haryana’s Finance Minister Captain Abhimanyu has said that it is sad that no image of Raja Mahendra Pratap Singh is displayed inside the AMU. He demanded that the university be rechistened after Raja Mahendra Pratap Singh, who donated land for establishing the university.

Speaking at an event in Rewari on Sunday, he said that Raja Mahendra Pratap Singh had donated the land for establishing the university without any hesitation with an objecting of educating all.

“Picture of the one who broke the nation into pieces hangs inside Aligarh Muslim University’s campus, but no picture of Raja Mahendra Pratap Singh. I demand that AMU must be renamed as Raja Mahendra Pratap Vishwavidyalaya,” he said, according to news agency ANI.

Speaking to The Indian Express later, he said that Raja Mahendra Pratap had fought for ‘Akhand Bharat’ and worked for ‘Manav Dharma’. He said that it will be befitting to name the university after “such a great personality of modern India”.

The university has become a new battleground between right-wing activists and the AMU students over displaying of Jinnah’s image. Right-wing activists have been demanding that Jinnah’s portrait should be removed but the AMU on its part has said that his image was installed inside the campus in 1938 when the students’ union had conferred a lifetime membership on him. The Aligarh Muslim University was established in 1875.

The controversy began on May 2 when local BJP MP Satish Gautam drafted a letter to AMU Vice-Chancellor Tariq Mansoor seeking clarification as to why Jinnah’s image was being displayed within the university premises who had played a pivotal role during the partition in 1947.

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