Narendra Modi to lay foundation of varsity named after Jat freedom fighter Raja Mahendra Pratap Singh

Narendra Modi to lay foundation of varsity named after Jat freedom fighter Raja Mahendra Pratap Singh

Hummingbird News Desk

LUCKNOW, 8 SEP: Prime Minister Narendra Modi will lay the foundation stone of the much-awaited state university in the name of Raja Mahendra Pratap Singh, a Jat icon, in Aligarh on 14 September.

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The development potentially marks ruling BJP’s overt attempt to win over the Jat community — which account for around 17% of the voting population in 12 districts of west UP region — in the run-up to the UP assembly elections due early next year.

Incidentally, Raja Mahendra Pratap was also an MP, winning the Second Lok Sabha elections in 1957, when he relegated future Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee to the fourth place.

Confirming the development, principal secretary, PWD, Nitin Ramesh Gokarn, said that the construction of the university will take at least 24 months from the date when its foundation would be laid. The university is, therefore, expected to come up by September 2023. Proposed over an area of more than 115 acre, the university will come up in Lodha and Musaipur village of Kol tehsil in Aligarh district. The state government has already allocated an initial budget of over Rs 101 crore for the purpose. At present, the Aligarh division has only one state university — Dr BR Ambedkar University in Agra.
The Yogi Aditynath government had decided to establish a state university in the name of Raja Mahendra Pratap Singh in Aligarh in 2019 after some of the saffron outfits demanded rechristening the name of Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) in the name of Singh, who is believed to have donated land for the iconic Central university, initially founded as Muhammadan Anglo-Oriental (MAO) College by Sir Syed Ahmad Khan in 1877. The college was formally transformed into a university in 1920.
According to officials in PWD, which happens to be the nodal department for the project, the state government plans to construct a sprawling academic block, an administrative building, a facility centre, Health Centre, hostels for boys and girls and residential buildings for the academic staff.
Born in a socio-economically influential Jat family of Mursan in Hathras district on 1 December, 1886, Mahendra Pratap Singh, was a freedom fighter and social reformer. He studied in Muhammadan Anglo-Oriental College till 1905. He later set up an indigenous technical institute Prem Mahavidyalaya in Vrindavan in 1909, an initiative that played a crucial role in getting him nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize in 1932.

Raja Mahendra, who announced India’s first provisional government from Afghanistan in 1915, spent over three decades out of the country as the British wanted to arrest him. He only returned to India in 1946.

He was elected to the second Lok Sabha from Mathura as an Independent candidate, garnering over 40 per cent of the votes and defeating his Congress rival, Chaudhary Digambhar Singh, by nearly 25,000 votes. On fourth position was Bharatiya Jan Sangh candidate Atal Bihari Vajpayee, who secured around 23,000 votes, or 10 per cent.

The move is also seen as BJP’s counter to its political adversaries who have been rallying behind farmers — a majority of which happen to be from the Jat community — who have been agitating against the new farm laws. Experts said that by invoking a historic Jat figure the BJP seeks to neutralize the possible repugnance of the farming community while consolidating its position in the politically crucial region of west UP comprising around 125 assembly seats.

Tags: #NarendraModi #RajaMahendraPratapSingh #JatIcon #Aligarh

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