Punjab Congress chief Captain Amarinder Singh has threatened to lead protests against the move to set up the Khalsa University.
Q: Why are you against the creation of the Khalsa University?
A: The Khalsa College is not a personal property of the Majithia family. They have no right to take unilateral decisions pertaining to the college.
Q. But they say it’s a decision of the 100-member Khalsa College Governing Council. What’s your stand
A: Let me give you a perspective. I was the Khalsa College chancellor from 1972 to 1978. Before that, my father and grandfather held this honorary post all their life. This institution was funded by the royal families. Everything was going fine until Bikram Singh Majithia entered into politics and made his father Satyajit Singh Majithia as the council president by removing Rajmohinder Singh Majithia. They (Majithias) abolished the post of chancellor to grab full power. They had plans to make the college a heritage hotel. In 2011, they first proposed the Khalsa University project. The move drew opposition and was shelved. It’s been revived now.
Q: The council says it has no plans to touch the old heritage building and that the varsity will come up on the vacant adjoining plot. What do you have to say?
A: If they are starting the project from the scratch, what is stopping them from opening a varsity in areas such as Ferozepur, Sangrur and Mansa? The Majithia family has clear business interest in this project.
Q: So, do you stand firm on opposing the move to set up the new university?
A: Of course I do. Satyajit’s son Bikram is a state minister, his son-in-law Sukhbir Badal is the deputy CM, daughter Harsimrat Kaur Badal is a Union Minister, whose father-in-law is Punjab chief minister Parkash Singh Badal. So, the connection is evident. If he (Satyajit) is so much keen on a new university, he should use his family’s influence to get a government university sanctioned.