New Delhi: Congress on Monday accused Narendra Modi government of "putting the clock back" and creating "insecurity and division" in the mind of people as the Centre made it clear to the Supreme Court that it was not going to support Aligarh Muslim University on granting minority status.
The NDA government on Monday told the Supreme Court that it would withdraw the appeal filed by the erstwhile UPA government challenging the Allahabad High Court verdict holding the AMU as non-minority institution.
"Why are we creating these situations? This once again reveals the mindset and agenda of this government. They will do everything, which can create insecurity and division and divert attention of people from the miserable performance of Narendra Modi government and its failure on all fronts.
"They are basically divisive in their approach, in their ideology and their mind," Congress spokesperson Anand Sharma said.
Terming it "deeply disappointing", former Law Minister and senior advocate Salman Khurshid said, "they seem to be taking very narrrow political view of this. They are not the first to do this. There were narrow political views taken in past as well."
He said that in 1981, Indira Gandhi had finally, after "deep reflection", came to the conclusion that this is something that the government of the day must do and this is part of the larger Constitutional commitment to minorites and that is what was done.
"For 20 years, nothing happened. But 20 years later, the same regulation, amendments of 1981 went to the Allahabad High Court. The High Court said we cannot accept this. We are bound by what the Supreme Court had already done very early after independence.
"And the Supreme Court judgement of five judges had said that any institution that was established through an Act of Parliament or an Act of legislature, cannot be seen as being established by a group of people or minority and that is why AMU has not been given a minority status," Khurshid said.
The senior Congress leader said that this is like "putting the clock back when the government today says that the AMU does not have minority status."
"It's really putting the clock back and it is very disappointing, very sad and I hope the court will be able to review the earlier decision of Aziz Basha," he said.
AMU was set up by the Central Act and in 1967, a five-judge Constitution bench of the apex court had in Aziz Basha judgement held it as a "central university" and not a minority institution.
AICC spokesperson Randeep Surjewala found nothing wrong when told that Khurshid talked of challenging the order of the Allahabad High Court in regard to AMU University being a minority University.
"An individual in this country whether he or she belongs to a political party, anybody interested in the welfare of Aligarh Muslim University including its faculty and teachers, have full right to avail of the constitutional remedies available to them and I don't think so - either the Congress Party or BJP will stand or can stand as an obstacle thereto.
"So, by all means, if a judgment of a Court is wrong or incorrect, they have every right to seek a review or go in appeal against it. We will be making a detailed statement on the issue perhaps tomorrow," Surjewala said.
The Allahabad High Court had in January 2006 struck down the provision of the AMU (Amendment) Act, 1981 by which the University was accorded a minority status.
The division bench of the High Court had upheld the decision of its single judge passed in 2005 by which it termed as "unconstitutional" the granting of minority status to AMU and 50 per cent reservation to Muslims in 2004.