The former union minister for law and the ex-deputy chief minister, Ramakant Khalap was detained by police at the press room in the state legislative Assembly on Monday, until the end of the House proceedings for the day, after he tried to stage a one-man agitation outside the Assembly building, as a mark of protest towards discontinuation of grants by the government to the Mandrem College of Commerce, Economics and Management, in Pernem taluka. Khalap is the president of the Vikas Parishad, which runs the institution.
When the Congress MLA Aleixo Reginaldo Lourenco, brought this issue to the notice of the House, and stated that a person of the stature of Khalap need to be treated with more dignity by the government, the Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar said that Khalap is a knowledgeable person and should know that it is not right to start an agitation in the precincts of the state legislative assembly, especially when it is in session.
The Leader of the Opposition Pratapsingh Rane, speaking on the occasion said that the government should first come out clear about the boundaries of the precincts of the state legislative assembly as the Secretariat also forms a part of the entire complex.
Earlier, Khalap stood with a placard in front of the state assembly building, and later moved to the press room in the building, following objection taken by the police and the assembly marshals. He also demanded a written order from the police, which prevented him from agitating in the precincts of the state legislative assembly complex.
Khalap, speaking to the media persons said that the government has granted NOC to his Mandrem College in 2012 when Manohar Parrikar was chief minister, however in 2013 the government has sent the letter saying that NOC has been withdrawn citing the reason there are less than 100 students in the college, adding that during the same period the BJP-led government has given NOC’s to three more colleges in the state.
“Why this discrimination only to Mandrem College?” he questioned, alleging that the Chief Minister Parsekar is playing politics with his educational institute and he (Parsekar) has started BA, B.Ed faculties in his college illegally.
Demanding justice to his Mandrem College, Khalap said that he is requesting the government to give grant and additional faculties like BA, BCA and BBA along with B.Com.
“Earlier I have met the Governor on this issue and petitioned her, but she neither replied to me nor asked the government about the issue” he said, claiming that the Director of Higher education and Additional Secretary of Finance has given wrong information that the Mandrem College is just 7 kms away from the Government College Pernem, when actual distance is 23 kms.
When detained in the press room, Khalap condemned the act of the speaker for not allowing him to go to the gallery of the assembly.
“I condemned the act of wrongfully restraining me and demand an apology from the Speaker of the Assembly” said Khalap, warning that he would file a case against the police officers who deprived his right to visit the gallery of the House.