Noted psephologist Yogendra Yadav may face the axe from the University Grants Commission for his political affiliations with the Aam Aadmi Party, media reports said on Thursday.
According to CNN-IBN, a showcause notice has been issued to Yadav asking why he should not be removed from the commission now that he is a member of a political party.
Yadav, a senior fellow at the Centre for the Study of Developing Societies, was made a member of the UGC during Kapil Sibal's tenure.
The ministry now claims that his role as a political member leads to a 'conflict of interest'.
But according to Yadav, the move seems to be politically motivated as he says there is no rule that bars a political member from being a part of the commission.
Yadav also claims that he had informed the commission well in advance that of his being a part of the Aam Aadmi Party, even offering to quit his post.
"One thing that surprises me that I had checked with the UGC previously about my political involvement and back then they had no problem. What does not surprise me though is the timing," he said.
"I had opposed certain changes with regards to a university in Kakinada... as well as certain changes which is not good for higher education in the country.. may be that's why it has been done.."
Interestingly, Kakinada is the constituency of Union HRD Minister Pallam Raju.
Raju, however, chose to stay away from the controversy saying it was an internal matter of the commission.
"The commission is autonomous.. they have an internal system as well as rules and regulations.. Yogendra Yadav is a very learned professor," he said.
In May 2012, Yadav had quit as NCERT advisor after the government withdrew a Class XI political science text book following a row over a controversial Ambedkar cartoon. If axed, Yadav will be the first member to be removed from the commission since its formation.
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Updated Date: Sep 05, 2013 12:41:34 IST