Chandigarh:1 May:JAC in its efforts to persuade political leadership of the region across parties on the issue of central university status for P.U. today met Sh Satyapal Jain, former Member Parliament, and Member National Executive Committee, BJP and explained him how Panjab University is being made an arena of political tug-of-war by different parties. The delegation submitted him the copy of appeal whereby the support of his party to the demand for central university status for Panjab University was sought. Since BJP is part of the Punjab Government the support from BJP is of crucial importance, explained the delegation.
In response Sh Jain assured the unconditional support to the demand for central university not only from Punjab unit of BJP but also from all the BJP Members in Parliament in case the Hon’ble Prime Minister calls an all-party meeting. He also promised to write the same in a letter to the Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh. He said that Panjab University should have been declared Institute of National Importance long back owing to its contribution to the entire world. He extended his support to the ongoing chain fast and also expressed desire to join it on Saturday, that is, on 3rd May.
Prof Rajan Gaur, Vice President PUTA, and one of the volunteers of today’s chain fast, expressed his satisfaction over the positive response of leaders of Punjab Government during the last couple of days. However striking a cautious note Prof. Gaur maintained that the process of dialogue needs to be intensified and public posturing of political leaders cannot be taken on its face value. His colleagues in the Department of Anthropology, Prof. R.N. Vashisht, Prof. A.K. Sinha and Dr. Gayathri Pathmanathan along with a research scholar Mr. Sukhbir Singh sat on the chain fast braving the heat. Prof. A.S. Ahluwalia, Chairman, JAC speaking from the Dharna Site appealed Punjab political leadership to work positively for the upliftment of higher education of which Punjab University is the natural leader in the region.
Meanwhile on Monday, 5th May 2008, Teacher-Senators from the Campus of Panjab University have volunteered to join the chain fast and register their protest against the undue delay in declaring P.U. a central university.