In tussle for chair, RPI leader Prakash Ambedkar tries to forcibly wrest control of institution founded by his father
There was pandemonium at the Siddharth College of Commerce and Economics at Anand Bhavan in Fort, on Friday afternoon, as Prakash Ambedkar along with 300 activists from the Republican Party of India (RPI) stormed the premises, insisting that Ambedkar (son of Dr. B.R. Ambedkar) be made in-charge of the institution. The police was called to evict the crowd, which dispersed only after a lathi-charge.
The incident can be traced back to the college’s governing committee of trustees of People’s Education Society (PES) denying Prakash Ambedkar appointment to the
committee. Prakash Ambedkar is the president of Bharip’Bahujan Mahasangh and a former Member of Parliament.
Issues regarding the trusteeship of the college has been going on since July last year, when two of the members, M. S. Moray and Dr. S. P. Gaikwad, were removed by the principal and members of the original governing body, for allegedly committing a fraud of Rs.50 lakh. The amount had been sanctioned in 2009-10 towards infrastructure development of PES’s Dr. Ambedkar B.Ed college at Gaya in Bihar. The committee also stated that Gaikwad had committed a fraud of Rs.15 crore.
According to Krishna Patil, principal of Siddharth College, Moray and Gaikwad continued to work as members even after their removal from the committee and handled monetary transactions until they were restricted by the institution in May 2011. Patil also stated that despite the original governing body functioning, the duo appointed five other members and formed a separate illegal governing body.
With regard to Friday’s incident, Patil said, “The brand of hooliganism that Prakash Ambedkar practiced here was a very undemocratic way of voicing his demand for becoming a member of the trust. Yet again, Moray and Gaikwad have been backed by Ambedkar to get into the committee. Whatever activities are performed by these people outside the college will not change the scenario inside the college and the committee. The illegal approach of Ambedkar, Moray or Gaikwad will not make any difference in the committee’s functioning as everything has to be done legally. Illegal actions won’t get anyone a place in the committee.”