Janata Dal (U) on Monday criticized the stand of the Attorney General that Aligarh Muslim University and Jamia Millia Islamia are not minority institutions while Congress voiced its reservation of the move.
Government, however, said that the rights of minority institutions will be protected.
Attorney General (AG) Mukul Rohatgi had told the Supreme Court last week that in the opinion of the government, AMU is not a minority institution. He said as the executive government at the Centre, it can’t be seen as setting up a minority institution in a secular state.
Later, in an opinion tendered to the HRD Ministry, he had said that the Jamia Millia Islamia was set up by a central Act and hence it cannot be termed as a minority institution.
Slamming the move, JD (U) General Secretary K C Tyagi alleged it was an attempt to polarise Uttar Pradesh ahead of assembly elections in the state next year.
Congress spokesperson R P N Singh voiced his party’s reservation on the move and said “status quo should be maintained as far as the current status of these institutions is concerned.” He said Congress is against changing the minority status of the two institutions.
Minister of State for Minority Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, while skirting the issue of AMU and JMI, said the rights of minority institutions in the country would be protected and their interests will not be hurt.
He said that since the issue of AMU’s minority status is already in the apex court, it would be better if the debate on the issue takes place in the courtroom.