Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday laid down the foundation stone of Raja Mahendra Pratap Singh University in Aligarh.
The moment comes seven years after a local BJP leader demanded to rename the Aligarh Muslim University as Raja Mahendra Pratap Singh University.
The university is being established by the Uttar Pradesh government in memory of Raja Mahendra Pratap Singh, the great freedom fighter, educationist and social reformer.
The new university will be built in a total area of over 92 acres at Lodha village and Musepur Kareem Jarouli village of Aligarh’s Kol tehsil. The university will provide affiliation to 395 colleges of the Aligarh division.
The decision is being politically seen as part of the ruling BJP’s bid to win over the community ahead of the crucial assembly polls in the state early next year.
Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath visited the venue Monday to oversee the preparations for the foundation ceremony of Raja Mahendra Pratap Singh University at Lodha town about 40 km from Aligarh.
In 2014, a controversy had erupted when a local BJP leader had demanded the AMU to be renamed after him as the AMU had been built on the land donated by the late Raja Mahendra Pratap Singh.
The issue first comes as the lease of the 1.2 hectares land of AMU City High School had expired but the legal heirs of the late Raja were reluctant to renew this lease.
Last year, however, the issue had largely been resolved when the AMU authorities offered a proposal for rechristening the school after the late Raja.
Raja Mahendra Pratap Singh was born in a royal family in Hathras district of Uttar Pradesh in 1886. He was a social reformer, freedom fighter and Marxist revolutionary. An alumnus of the Muhammadan Anglo-Oriental Collegiate School later called Aligarh Muslim University. Though he did not complete his graduation from AMU, Singh was felicitated during the centenary celebrations of the university in 1997.