Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan virtually forced out vice-chancellor of Devi Ahilya Vishwavidyalaya Ajit Singh Sehrawat on Tuesday for inviting Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi to address students on January 19.
Sehrawat, a chartered accountant who joined the university nine months ago, put in his papers to Governor Rameshwar Thakur on Monday evening. He said: “The atmosphere in the university is not peaceful and not to my liking. So, I have resigned.”
The governor accepted Sehrawat's resignation and appointed Rector Ashutosh Mishra as acting vice-chancellor of the university.
On Sunday, after the governor returned a state government proposal to remove Sehrawat, the chief minister met him to avoid a constitutional face-off.
For, the governor would have been forced to sign Sehrawat’s sack letter if the proposal was sent to him for the second time.
Sehrawat’s spat with the Bharatiya Janata Party government started from the beginning of his tenure on June 2. The BJP student wing Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad staged a hunger strike against his decision to re-hold a B Com examination for the second time, as the paper was leaked out.
Local minister Kailash Vijayvergiya and then higher education minister Archana Chitnis urged Sehrawat to reconsider his decision, but the vice-chancellor ignored them and stuck to his decision.
The latest controversy rocked the university when Sehrawat invited Gandhi to a university function that was supposed to be apolitical.
Later, the government issued a notice, seeking an explanation from him. Sehrawat defended his decision, saying Gandhi was not just a politician, but a youth icon too.
But Gandhi, who was on a tour of the state for the National Students Union of India elections, openly campaigned for the organisation and claimed that the tour had been funded by the Congress.