After getting the domicile quota for Punjab students restored in Thapar University, it's time for the state government to derive political mileage out of it.
Revenue and public relations minister Bikram Singh Majithia, on Friday, lauded the efforts made by chief minister Parkash Singh Badal and deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal to protect the interests of students of Punjab by persuading Thapar University (TU), Patiala to restore the quota of students from the state.
Majithia said the SAD-BJP government had always been on the forefront when it came to protecting the interests of the state, unlike the Congress, which had "always remained in deep slumber". He said that while the CM and the deputy CM had taken up the matter with union HRD minister Kapil Sibal to "undo the injustice", state Congress president Capt Amarinder Singh, despite being a member of the board of governors of Thapar University, remained a mute spectator.
Terming it as a victory of the state government, SAD secretary Ranjit Singh Nikra said the pressure exerted by the government had worked.
Nikra, who was the first one to burn the TU management's effigy after its move to abolish the state quota was reported by HT, said the determined approach of the CM and the deputy CM had compelled TU to withdraw its decision.
Patiala Congress MLA Brahm Mohindra said the government must learn lessons from this episode and refrain from offering free land to private institutes.
Former SGPC chief Kirpal Singh Badhungar said that the way Punjab government pursued the matter showed its alacrity and sense of responsibility.
Amarjeet Singh Tikka, state president of the grievances cell of the Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee, said TU's move to roll back its decision was the result of Congress leaders' initiative of taking up the matter with union HRD minister Kapil Sibal.
Youth Akali Dal district president Capt Preetinder Singh also commended the chief minister and the deputy chief minister for persuading TU to restore the quota.
Dal Khalsa spokesperson Kanwar Pal Singh said the government must learn a lesson from this episode and have checks in place to stop other universities and institutes from charging hefty fees.
Preneet hails TU's move
Union minister of state for external affairs and Patiala MP Preneet Kaur has hailed the decision of the Thapar University management to restore the state quota. "I welcome the decision taken by Thapar University in the larger interest of Punjabi students," the minister said in a statement.