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BJP seeks Prez intervention in AMU

Ehtasham Khan in New Delhi | May 22, 2005 00:34 IST

Bharatiya Janata Party on Saturday requested President APJ Abdul Kalam to ask the government and the prestigious Aligarh Muslim University to withdraw the decision to reserve 50 per cent seats for Muslim students.

BJP general secretary Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, who is the member of the university's highest decision-making body, AMU Court, wrote a letter to the President seeking his immediate intervention. President Kalam is a visitor to AMU, situated in the Hindu heartland of Uttar Pradesh.

Addressing reporters at his residence, Naqvi said the reservation on religious grounds was against the Constitution and secularism. He said it would neither help the Muslims nor the country.

Naqvi said: "The government has no idea of the kind of reaction this would have in the country. Other institutions may reject Muslim students saying they have seats reserved in AMU."

The government on Thursday gave Cabinet approval to AMU to reserve 50 per cent seats for Muslims, 20 per cent for internal candidates and five per cent to be nominated by the vice chancellor. This would mean that 75 per cent of seats in AMU are reserved. The seats would be reserved in 36 professional courses. Earlier, 50 percent of the seats were reserved for internal candidates notwithstanding their religious affiliations.

When told the previous BJP government had allowed Delhi's Jamia Hamdard university to reserve 50 percent of seats for Muslims, Naqvi could only muster: "AMU and Hamdard cannot be compared."

He, however, said his party has no intention of moving to the court on this issue.

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