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The BJP government in Madhya Pradesh has suspended a college principal, a dalit, in the Ashoknagar district for "promoting" a particular party after he invited Congress lawmaker Jyotiraditya Scindia for a function. The decision invited sharp criticism from the Congress which said the episode exposed the "anti-dalit face" of the government. It also demanded that the suspension be revoked immediately. Principal B L Ahirwar of the Ganesh Shankar Vidyarthi College in Mungawali town had invited the Guna MP for a National Social Service (NSS) function at the institute on October 10.
The Congress' poll symbol was reportedly displayed during the programme. "Ahirwar was suspended on October 11 for violating the Madhya Pradesh Civil Services Conduct Rules, 1966, as it was found that the premises of the college was used for promoting a particular party," a state government official said today. Ahirwar denied that he was associated with any political party and asserted he did not violate the MP Civil Services Conduct rules by inviting a local MP to the college. "Scindia came to the college as he wanted to interact with the students," he said. The matter took a political turn with Scindia accusing the state government of being "anti-Dalit". "Is it such a crime to invite a local MP to a college in his constituency that the principal has been suspended?" he asked. The suspension has exposed the "anti-dalit" face of the BJP government, he charged. He claimed the government suspended Ahirwar without serving him any notice and "without any solid reason". Questioning the government's motive, Leader of Opposition in the state Assembly Ajay Singh wondered how could a principal be held responsible for a local MP meeting students of his college. He alleged that the BJP government has politicised the administration, which is "highly unfortunate". He demanded immediate revocation of Ahirwar's suspension. However, defending the action against the principal, state BJP president Nandkumar Singh Chauhan said the college forum was used for promoting the interests of Scindia's party, Congress. "The participation of Scindia in the college event and using the forum for promoting his party's interest is a violation of law as by-election to the Mungawali assembly seat is due (necessitated by the demise of sitting Congress MLA Mahendra Singh Kalukheda)," he told reporters today at a hurriedly called press conference. Chauhan said they will file a complaint with the election commission on the issue. Meanwhile, enraged by Ahirwar's suspension, Congress workers staged a protest outside the Gwalior residence of Higher Education Minister Jaibhan Singh Pavaiyya. Chouhan claimed that Congress workers "attacked" Pavaiyya's house during the protest.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)