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Millennium Post

Manmohan refuses to resign, creates Constitutional crisis

The Narendra Modi government has written several times to Singh asking him to put in his papers from the coveted post but all efforts have gone in vain. Even President Pranab Mukerjee, who happens to be Paridarsaka (Visitor) of the varsity, has sent feelers to Singh asking him to step down.

According to a top Human Resource Development Ministry official: “The Visva-Bharati Acharya (Chancellor) has been communicated through different “means” to leave the coveted seat as it’s an ex-officio post for PM only,” adding that since Manmohan Singh is no more the Prime Minister now, he should have resigned and avoided creating a Constitutional crisis. When Millennium Post tried to get the former Prime Minister’s comments over the issue, he remained incommunicado.

The HRD ministry is in a tizzy as to how this issue should be tackled. According to senior HRD officials, there is no other way except for the former PM to resign on his own.

The HRD officials blame Visva-Bharati Upacharya (Vice-Chancellor) Prof Sushanta Dattagupta for creating the impasse. Dattagupta, who was appointed during Manmohan Singh’s regime, had recently sent emissaries to senior Communist leader Somnath Chatterjee to foil the bid of the HRD ministry to nominate Prof Chakradhar Tripathi as Pro-VC.

The team of varsity, who had called on former Lok Sabha Speaker to intervene into the issue, returned empty-handed as Chatterjee denied to intervene into the matter. Sources in the HRD Ministry told Millennium Post that President Pranab Mukherjee had personally asked HRD Minister Smriti Irani for “cleansing” of Shantiniketan, the abode of Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore.

In the latest development, incumbent V-C on Saturday appointed Prof Swapan Datta as the Pro-V-C and got it endorsed by the Executive Council (EC). The meeting was however, convened outside the Visva-Bharati campus, in order to avoid protests or opposition. With this, Dattagupta who is already embroiled in several controversies seems to have invited fresh trouble by ignoring the HRD ministry’s recommended name for Tripathi as the pro V-C. The latter had also met HRD minister Smriti Irani in this regard a few days ago.

“When the V-C goes, the pro-VC appointed by him also goes. The new V-C will have his own team,” said a top HRD ministry official when asked to comment on the development.

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