As charges fly thick and fast on the delay in setting up of Central University of Himachal Pradesh (CUHP) campus, chief minister Virbhadra Singh on Monday rejected the two-campus theory, stating that the institution would have a unified complex in the Kangra district.
"You should not play politics over the issue of an education institution," said the chief minister, while replying to a question raised by BJP legislator from Dehra Ravinder Singh Ravi during the Question Hour.
The CM said that he could not understand that how a university could have two distinct campuses 40 km apart.
"I am not party to any location. It has to be at one place and that is in the Kangra district," Virbhadra said.
"I don't want to divide Kangra into pieces on the issue like you did," he added, pointing fingers at the Opposition BJP.
The chief minister said that the decision on the location of CUHP should be left to the experts, based on availability of land.
The chief minister also informed the house that the permission for diversion of forest land under Forest Conservation Act 1980 has not been received, so far, and the ministry of environment and forests had informed that the Forest Advisory Committee of the central government had recommended 81.798 hectares of land at Dehra. It has also sought a revised proposal of 156.66 hectares land in Dharamsala.
Earlier, raising the question, Ravi accused the chief minister of doing double talk on setting up the CUHP campus, at different places. Ravi alleged that the around 900 kanal land at Dehra was already registered in the name of CUHP.
As tempers ran high, the chief minister said the then finance minister, P Chidambaram, had announced Central University and Indian Institute of Technology for Himachal Pradesh in 2007.
"On the same day I announced that it will come up at Kangra," said the chief minister, alleging that when the BJP was in power, it started playing politics with the location of the university even within one district.
"It was even made an election issue and the two- campuses theory was floated," said Virbhadra.
Leader of Opposition, Prem Kumar Dhumal, and BJP member Ravi alleged that the 900 kanal of land available at Dehra was already registered on the name of CUHP, but the government was misleading the people on the issue.
"Our government has never suggested two campuses and the present government should tell the truth as to who had talked of the two campuses first," said Dhumal.