New Delhi: An RTI reply has indicated that, contrary to what he claimed, BJP MP Satish Kumar Gautam did know about the presence of Muhammad Ali Jinnah’s portrait in Aligarh Muslim University.
News18 has accessed an RTI copy filed by Delhi-based professor Alok Kumar in September 2017, asking about the need to have Jinnah’s portrait in AMU Students’ Council Hall.
The administration replied to the question after taking a consensus from all court members.
Gautam was part of the AMU court for three years, from December 2014 to December 2017. The court is the highest decision-making body of the University.
The BJP lawmaker had earlier said that he was told about the portrait on April 30, 2018, which prompted him to immediately write a letter to the University's vice-chancellor.
JD(U) leader KC Tyagi also revealed to News18 that court members were taken on a tour of the campus, including the hall where Jinnah’s portrait is hanging. “Everyone knew about the portrait. Even those court members who did not attend the tour were told about the Jinnah RTI in September 2017,” said Tyagi.
A controversy has erupted over the presence of Muhammad Ali Jinnah's portrait in the AMU, which BJP leaders demand should be removed. "A picture of the man responsible for India's division cannot be accepted in a public-funded institution," they said.