Nitish justifies setting up AMU branch in Kishanganj


Patna : Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar justified the government’s decision to set up a branch of Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) at Kishanganj district in the state in the wake of opposition by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and students organisation Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP).

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“There should not be any opposition to set up a branch of AMU at Kishanganj. The government is committed to improve the education level. It has nothing to do with any community,” Nitish Kumar told mediapersons here Tuesday.

A day after ABVP activists clashed with the police in Patna during their protest against the setting up of the branch, the chief minister sent a strong message by saying that opening of the AMU branch will benefit all people, cutting across caste and community lines.

“We were committed to set up a branch of AMU in Kishanganj. The state government had already provided land for it,” he said.

Bihar BJP leaders, including most legislators and MPs, were not happy with the ministers in Nitish Kumar government for not opposing the decision to set up the institute.

BJP spokesperson Tarun Vijay in New Delhi Monday questioned the need for opening a branch of Aligarh Muslim University in Kishanganj. He asked the reason behind opening a branch of AMU in a Muslim-dominated area.

Muslims make up 66.7 percent of the voters in Kishanganj constituency, about 400 km from Patna.

In the last Lok Sabha elections, Janata Dal-United forced the BJP to leave its claim on the seat and contested the polls. Congress’s Ishrarul Haque won the seat but the BJP is not ready to leave Kishanganj that gave its party a Muslim face — Shahnawaz Hussain, former central minister and now MP from Bhagalpur.