Tamil Nadu Governor did not make graft allegations on VCs’ appointments, Raj Bhavan clarifies

The Raj Bhavan said the governor was only referring to information provided to him by some educationists during his interaction with them.

Chennai | Tamil Nadu Governor Banwarilal Purohit had not made accusations targeting any individual over corruption in the appointment of vice-chancellors in the state’s universities, the Raj Bhavan said on Tuesday, a day after main opposition DMK demanded action against those involved in the alleged irregularities.

Days after Purohit spoke of “money exchanging hands” in crores of rupees in the appointment of vice-chancellors, the Raj Bhavan said the governor was only referring to information provided to him by some educationists during his interaction with them.

Recalling the reported remarks by Purohit on October 6, the Raj Bhavan in a statement here said, “It should be clear that the governor has not made any allegations against anybody about corruption or money being exchanged.”

The clarification was being made in view of “varying reports” in the media about the governor’s remarks, the statement said and provided a “verbatim text” of his remarks.

“I learned from educationists and others that appointment of vice-chancellors was done by exchanging money in crores. I could not believe that. Then I decided that things have to be changed. Till date 9 vice-chancellor(s) have been selected by me purely on merit,” the statement quoted Purohit as having said.

Citing the arrest of A Ganapathy, the vice-chancellor of Bharathiyar University, early this year by the Directorate of Vigilance and Anti-Corruption in a bribery case and the Madras High Court setting aside the appointment of P P Chelladurai as vice-chancellor of Madurai Kamarajar University, the Raj Bhavan said transparency was now in place.

“The changes in the system of appointment of vice-chancellors have been brought by the governor following a policy of honesty, transparency and strict adherence to the statutes.”

All the nine vice-chancellors appointed by Purohit are persons of “high integrity, calibre and have come through the due process”, the statement said.

Such appointments done following the due process will definitely help improve the quality of higher education and pave the way for a bright future for the students, the statement said.

While Higher Education minister K P Anbazhagan had said the government had no role in the appointment of vice-chancellors, the DMK said on Monday it had sought an appointment with the governor to demand “speedy and appropriate action”.

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