BJP MP from Aligarh Satish Gautam has asked AMU Vice Chancellor of Tariq Mansoor an explanation for displaying the photo of the founder of Pakistan Muhammad Ali Jinnah in the institution.
In a letter addressed to the VC, Gautam has asked that what the compulsion was of putting his picture in the campus.
"It is fine if Jinnah has been revered in Pakistan after Partition. But his portrait should not be put up here in India," said Aligarh MP.
"The university should instead celebrate the contributions of Raja Mahendra Pratap and Sir Syyed Ahmed who played a crucial role in establishing the university," he added.
The portrait was installed in 1938 before Partition, at the peak of Muslim League campaign for a separate nation for the Muslims of India.
Reacting to Gautam's letter, former AMU students' union president Faizul Hassan said that Jinnah's picture was placed in the institute in 1938, much before the partition. "There is no program or chapter on Jinnah that is taught in the university," he added, a Times of India report said.
Current AMUSU president Mashkoor Ahmad Usmani said, "Jinnah was a hero of undivided India". He said Jinnah's photo was there as he had been given the lifetime membership of the body before Independence. He said that Gautam should have written to the AMUSU as the photo was on display at the AMUSU hall. "We would have given a befitting reply to him," he said.
AMU administration also maintains that AMU Students' Union is an autonomous body. Early this year, an AMU research scholar joined Hizbul Mujahideen, forcing police to raid the varsity premises.