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'You get into trouble if you invite Rahul Gandhi'

Last updated on: April 02, 2010 13:11 IST

Ajit Singh Sehrawat, the vice-chancellor of the Devi Ahilya Vishwavidyalaya in Indore, resigned on Monday, allegedly under pressure from Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan.

Sehrawat had attracted the ire of the Bharatiya Janata Party-led state government after he invited Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi to address students in an 'apolitical' function on January 19.

The state government promptly issued him a notice, asking him to explain why Gandhi was invited to the campus. Though Sehrawat stated that Gandhi was invited as he was considered a youth icon, the state government urged Governor Rameshwar Thakur to remove the vice chancellor.

This is not the first time that Sehrawat had problems with the BJP; he had earlier faced protests from the party's student wing Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad against some of his administrative decisions.

Though the governor returned the proposal, Sehrawat resigned citing 'undue interference' in his work.

In this exclusive interview, Sehrawat speaks to Shuriah Niazi and throws some more light on the controversy.

Excerpts:

What forced you to quit?

The atmosphere in the university was not to my liking. So I resigned.

Do you think it (the atmposphere in the campus) has something to do with the politics?

I hate government interference in the day-to-day working of the university. Undue interference in my work forced me to resign. I was patient enough to deal with all these things, but finally I had no option except to quit.

The state government turned against you after you invited Rahul Gandhi to the campus?

Nobody is going to question you if you invite Shah Rukh Khan, but you face opposition if you invite Rahul Gandhi as a guest. As a vice chancellor, I was answerable only to the chancellor. Who gave the state government the power to question me? Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chauhan was forced by (the party's) central leadership to take action against me. He did exactly that.

What are you going to do next?

I am settling down in Delhi and will never return to Indore again.