Wed, Dec 7, 2016 | updated 03:57 PM IST

AMU's prime position should not be spoiled by communal hatred: Congress

Updated: Jul 07, 2016 14:04 IST

New Delhi, July 07 (ANI): The Congress Party on Thursday said the Aligarh National University's (AMU) prime position should not be spoiled by communal hatred and its minority character should be maintained.

"In India, we respect the rights of minorities and the minority character of the university should be continued. It is the constitutional provision and the decision was taken after due consultation by the stalwarts in the field of education," Senior Congress leader P.C. Chacko told ANI.

"The prime position the Aligarh National University should not be spoiled by communal hatred to the minorities by this percent ruling dispensation," he added.

The Centre earlier on July 6 withdrew an appeal filed in the Supreme Court by the previous Congress-led government that had sought to retain the minority tag for the AMU.

The Narendra Modi Government also withdrew all the letters issued by the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) under the UPA regime allowing the AMU to reserve 50 percent of its seats for the Muslims in the faculty of medicine.

Chacko further said "If they are spoiling the minority character of Aligarh national university, it will be a big blow to the secular credentials of the country and the secular India. So, across the world Aligarh national university is known for its special status and also the special position that it is enjoying in this country."

The university's identity is a contentious political issue in Uttar Pradesh, where the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is seeking to project it as an example of Muslim appeasement at the cost of the rights of scheduled castes, tribes and backward classes.

A formal abrogation of the minority status for the university by the courts could help the BJP in its outreach to SC/STs and OBCs in the state which goes to polls early next year.

The BJP-led government argues that granting AMU minority status is in violation of the constitution which does not permit a secular India to set up and fund institutions on religious lines. (ANI)