Raj Bhawan seeks report on Rahul visit | india | Hindustan Times
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Raj Bhawan seeks report on Rahul visit

Taking exception to the cancellation of Rahul Gandhi’s programme at the Chandra Shekhar Azad Agriculture University in Kanpur, Raj Bhawan summoned Vice-Chancellor VK Suri. Umesh Raghuvanshi and M Hasan report.

india Updated: Oct 27, 2008 23:28 IST

Taking exception to the cancellation of Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi’s programme at the Chandra Shekhar Azad Agriculture University in Kanpur on Friday, Raj Bhawan on Monday summoned Vice-Chancellor VK Suri and asked him to submit a report on the matter at the earliest.

Sources said Suri met GB Patnaik, principal secretary to the governor, and tried to explain the circumstances leading to his decision. He said he had been flooded with telephone calls from certain quarters asking him to cancel the programme. He said this had put him under tremendous pressure. When HT tried to contact him, he was not available for comment.

The sources said Raj Bhawan wasn’t satisfied with the explanation. The V-C’s report would be placed before Governor T.V. Rajeswar and appropriate action would be taken, said a senior Raj Bhawan officer. Sources said Raj Bhawan was also keeping a watch on reports about the withdrawal of Rahul’s security. He was reportedly denied pilot and escort vehicles.

Meanwhile, the fiasco may have landed the university in a fix. The university, virtually surviving on funds from the Indian Council of Agriculture Research (ICAR), is in financial distress and there is widespread apprehension that ICAR, controlled by the Union Agriculture Ministry, might hold back its projects.

“At present, there are 27 projects with an estimated cost of Rs 10 crore,” said a senior university officer on condition of anonymity. Registrar Dr VP Kanaujia admitted “finances are in bad shape and we are forced to use ICAR funds for non-research work”.