Jinnah was a great man, says BJP MP Savitri Phule

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She said a controversy over Jinnah's portrait at Aligarh Muslim University was meant to divert attention from real problems such as Dalits' rights, PTI reported.

"All the "mahapurush" who had contributed to the freedom struggle, irrespective of their caste or community, need to be respected", the Dalit MP told newspersons here last night when asked to comment on the Jinnah controversy in AMU.

Jinnah's portrait at AMU had raked in controversy after Aligarh MP Satish Gautam had shot off a letter to AMU Vice Chancellor Tariq Mansoor questioning the same.

The district administration had yesterday warned that strong action will taken against those involved in the AMU campus violence on May 2.

Tension prevailed in Aligarh and students protested demanding action against right-wing men who entered the campus and wanted the Pakistan founder's portrait removed from the students' union office, where it has been hanging for decades. MP Savitri Bai Phule making a remark on Jinnah said Muhammad Ali Jinnah was a "mahapurush (great man)" who contributed to India's freedom struggle.

"Jinnah was a maha purush and will always remain so". In the clash, 28 students and 13 police personnel were injured.

Khan, who is also the ex-president of AMU student union, said they are of the opinion that leaders of both the countries - be it Mahatma Gandhi or Mohammad Ali Jinnah - should be respected.

On Tuesday, Uttar Pradesh Cabinet Minister Swami Prasad Maurya too had called Jinnah a mahapurush (great man).

The university has also chose to reschedule examinations, which were earlier supposed to begin on 12 May, in view of the prevailing tension on the campus.

However, this is not the first time Saviti Bai Phule has raised her voice against her party's diktat. She had said that going to a Dalit house for a photo-op and eating lavish food is not enough.