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Friday, Oct 18, 2019

Khalsa varsity row: Amarinder refuses to meet Satyajit Majithia

Khalsa College Governing Council chief Satyajit Majithia unsuccessfully tried to reach Amarinder through common links

punjab Updated: Apr 28, 2017 10:08 IST
Gurpreet Singh Nibber
Gurpreet Singh Nibber
Hindustan Times
Punjab chief minister Capt Amarinder Singh
Punjab chief minister Capt Amarinder Singh(HT File Photo)

A number of desperate attempts by Khalsa College Governing Council (KCGC) chief Satyajit Singh Majithia to meet chief minister Capt Amarinder Singh in the recent past hasn’t been successful. Once close to Amarinder, Satyajit wanted to explain to the CM his position on Khalsa University, which the state cabinet decided to scrap on April 19.

Khalsa University came into existence in 2016 by way of an Act.

Sources in the government confirmed that Satyajit tried to reach Amarinder through common links, but the chief minister refused to oblige. “Yes, I want to meet him (Amarinder) and had sought appointment. I want to explain to him that no wrong was done by opening the Khalsa University,” Majithia told HT.

Satyajit is father of former Punjab revenue minister Bikram Singh Majithia and the family at one time was very close with Capt Amarinder.

Sources close to both the families said Satyajit even lived in Amarinder’s Patiala residence New Moti Bagh Palace for a few months. When Satyajit took over as president of the KCGC in 2004, Amarinder was the chief minister.

It was in 1892 that Satyajit’s grandfather Sundar Singh Majithia took the initiative to open Khalsa College in Amritsar by collecting donations from royal families (including that of Amarinder’s), other well-to-do Sikhs of the time and contributing from his own pocket.

Terming the Khalsa University Act 2016 that mandated opening of the Khalsa University as ‘controversial’, the state cabinet on April 19 scraped the Act “to save the 125-year-old Khalsa College from losing its heritage status and falling prey to privatisation”.

The university will take away a chunk of land from Khalsa College. “The unique identity of its building will also be diminished and all properties attached to the Khasla College should be kept intact,” resolved the council of ministers on April 19. Currently, the administrative block of the university functions from a makeshift building and some courses are undertaken in different colleges run by the Khalsa College and the KCGC.

“I can’t understand why and how heritage of Khalsa College gets affected with the university,” said Satyajit, accusing his son’s political bête noire Lalli Majithia of conspiring to get the university scrapped. “Khalsa University is as private as the Khalsa College is.”

“We are not indulging in hanky panky deals. Since I took over the council’s reins 13 years ago, the number of colleges opened by the KCGC has grown from seven to 19,” he said. Claiming that he was a non-political man and never visited the constituencies of his son, daughter (Harsimrat Kaur Badal), son-in-law (Sukhbir Singh Badal) or Parkash Singh Badal, Satyajit said he enjoys good relations with the Punjab CM.

“If he agrees to meet me, it’s fine, otherwise, the records (of Khalsa University) are with the state government and CM can scrutinise them to make a judgment on his own,” said Satyajit.

First Published: Apr 28, 2017 10:08 IST

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