"I was suspended for asking people not to vote for BJP and JD(S)": Mysuru Univ Prof

The University however says the professor and his colleague had openly endorsed Chief Minister Siddaramaiah.
"I was suspended for asking people not to vote for BJP and JD(S)": Mysuru Univ Prof
"I was suspended for asking people not to vote for BJP and JD(S)": Mysuru Univ Prof
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Two professors, working in colleges affiliated to Mysuru University have been suspended for allegedly campaigning for Chief Minister Siddaramaiah.

On Tuesday evening, Dr Aravind Malagatti, a professor at Kuvempu Institute of Kannada Studies and Professor Mahesh Chandraguru from the Journalism Department in Manasagangotri College, were suspended.

A confederation of progressive groups and the Forum for Backward Communities had organized a programme in Mysuru on April 13 titled – Save Democracy, Save the Constitution and Save India.

Chief Minister Siddaramaiah’s son, Dr Yathindra Siddaramaiah, is said to have attended the event. On the very day, the BJP had filed a complaint with the Election Commission, stating that the professors were campaigning for Siddaramaiah.

On April 14, the EC sent a notice to the Registrar of Mysuru University, Bharati, asking her to conduct a probe and file an action-taken report. However, when no report was received by the University, the Election Commission, on Monday sent a notice to the Vice Chancellor of Mysuru University – C Basavaraju, stating that action would be taken against him.

 Professor Mahesh Chandraguru however told TNM that they had not endorsed any party and action was taken against them without a fair probe.

“No probe was conducted. No disciplinary committee was formed, as per the rules to find out what happened. This was a programme organized by progressive groups, and thinkers like KS Bhagwan attended it. Siddaramaiah’s son Yathindra came for the event and asked for our blessings. This event was not organized by the Congress and we were not endorsing any political party. Without probing, they suspended us,” Professor Chandraguru told TNM.

According to the professor, the event was organized by progressive groups to create awareness regarding the “threat to democracy”.

“I had made statements saying that the BJP is a threat to democracy, especially since its leaders made comments about changing the constitution. During the programme, I had also said that the JD(S) is a castiest party. I had only said that people can vote for anyone but BJP and JD(S). This does not mean I support the Congress or endorsed the party,” he added.

Chandraguru alleged that the VC, Basavaraju was related to BJP leader V Srinivas Prasad, which was why there was an alleged botch up of the investigation.

“I agree that the EC had sent the university administration a notice. But they did not do their job. No investigation was conducted. They had asked me to send my reply to their questions and I did on April 14 itself but no syndicate was formed to probe the suspension. This was done because there was pressure from BJP,” he added.

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