The former Minister and Bharatiya Janata Party member C.T. Ravi on Tuesday alleged in the Legislative Assembly that the chief whip of the Congress had written to the Department of Higher Education to appoint a person belonging to a particular caste as vice-chancellor of Tumkur University. The post had fallen vacant following the resignation of S.C. Sharma. He added: “What brand of secularism is this?”

But Minister for Higher Education R.V. Deshpande denied this saying the search committee had sent its recommendation, but it had not reached the office of the Chief Minister. Once it was finalised, it would be sent to Governor H.R. Bhardwaj for issuing orders.

Mr. Ravi took a dig at the Congress for appeasing minorities by starting minority universities and urged that the one being started at Srirangapatna should be named after A.P.J. Abdul Kalam or Abdul Hameed and not Tipu Sultan. But, he was countered by Mr. Deshpande, Janata Dal (Secular) members such as Y.S.V. Datta and K.M. Shivalinge Gowda and Tanveer Sait and B. Shivamurthy (both Congress).

Mr. Ravi urged the government not to get divided in the name of minorities either linguistic or religious.

Speaker Kagodu Thimmappa shot back saying that land with a few trees had been declared as deemed forests by the previous BJP government, putting thousands of village people into hardship Upset by this, the member resumed his seat.

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