What About Dalit Quota In Aligarh Muslim University, Asks Yogi Adityanath

KANNAUJ: Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath weighed in on the debate on whether the Aligarh Muslim University and Jamia Millia Islamia should have Dalit quota, questioning if the Banaras Hindu University can stick to the reservation policy, why can’t minority-run institutions do the same. The Chief Minister’s words come in the backdrop of several attacks on Dalits and Congress accusations that the BJP government does not do enough to protect the community. Several Dalit lawmakers from the BJP have raised similar allegations.

Barely three months ago, huge protests were held by Dalits across the country against the BJP-led Central government. At least four people had died in Uttar Pradesh.

Without naming the Congress, at a public meeting in Kannauj on Sunday, Yogi Adityanath said, “One question should be raised for all those who are saying that Dalits are being humiliated… when would they ask for reservation for our Dalit brothers in Aligarh Muslim University and Jamia Millia Islamia?”

“If the BHU can give it (reservation) to Dalits and backwards then why not in Aligarh Muslim University?” he said.

The politically loaded AMU quota issue was raised by the BJP’s ideological mentor Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh ahead of the 2017 assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh. RSS joint general secretary Krishna Gopal said the varsity was committing a “big crime” by not implementing quota.

AMU spokesperson Shafey Kidwai said the current policy does not allow reservation on basis of religion. “Admissions were given on the basis of internal and external candidates. Internal is the one who has passed Class 12 from here. And the rest, 50%, is for external candidates… Now the case is in Supreme Court,” he said.

The quota issue of Aligarh Muslim University went to the Supreme Court after an Allahabad High Court verdict of 2005 held the university as non-minority institution. Not just the AMU, but the Banaras Hindu University had approached the top court seeking the restoration of 50 per cent institutional preference quota, in post-graduate medical courses.

In April 2016, the NDA government told the Supreme Court that it would withdraw the appeal filed by the erstwhile UPA government, challenging the Allahabad High Court order.

In March this year, the Central government filed a revised affidavit in the Delhi High Court, opposing an order of the National Commission for Minority Educational Institutions that declared Jamia Millia Islamia as a religious minority institution.

In April, Union Social Justice Minister Thawar Chand Gehlot said the government was trying to restore reservation for Scheduled Castes and Tribes at Jamia Millia Islamia and Aligarh Muslim University.

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