Bihar Minister demands probe against V-C, skips Raj Bhavan function

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DAYS AFTER a corruption complaint against the Vice-Chancellor of a Darbhanga-based university reached Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, state Education Minister Vijay Kumar Choudhary has demanded a probe into the allegations.

Mounting pressure on the Governor to initiate action against LN Mithila University Vice-Chancellor Surendra Pratap Singh, the minister also skipped a Raj Bhavan awards function on Tuesday where the former received the “best V-C award”.

Choudhary, who did not explain why he skipped the function, told reporters: “Chancellor award was instituted by Raj Bhavan. Since there is complaint against LNMU V-C, it should be probed.”

He was referring to the complaint against Singh on November 20 by Mohammed Quddus, the Vice-Chancellor of Maulana Mazharul Haque Arabic & Persian University (MMHAPU), Patna. Although the complaint was made to the Chief Minister, it is the Raj Bhavan that has to order the probe.

As Governor is ex-officio Chancellor of state universities, his office alone is competent to order probes against Vice-Chancellor.

Raj Bhavan officials, including its spokesperson, were not available for comments.

The complaint against Singh is related to the time when he held additional charge of MMHAPU as acting Vice-Chancellor.

Quddus alleged that Singh was involved in financial irregularities in purchase of answersheets for examinations. In his complaint letter, Quddus stated that earlier the university used to buy answersheets, each costing Rs 7. With Singh as the acting vice-chancellor, “the price per answersheet was doubled mysteriously”, he alleged. According to Quddus, 1.6 lakh answersheets were bought during Singh’s tenure.

Singh, however, told The Indian Express: “The allegation against me seems politically motivated. Tenders for purchase of answersheets were surely made during my tenure as the acting V-C of MMHAPU and it was awarded to the lowest bidder by the tender committee. But the purchase and payment were made by the present V-C. The present V-C had option of floating fresh tenders.”

In a separate move, former deputy chief minister and Rajya Sabha MP Sushil Kumar Modi on Wednesday demanded the resignation of Magadh University Vice-Chancellor Rajendra Prasad, whose premises were recently raided in connection with alleged financial irregularities in tender allotments.

“Raj Bhavan also needs to remove Magadh University V-C Rajendra Prasad, who faced raids by Special Vigilance Unit. The matter looks serious,” he told The Indian Express.

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