Vastanvi removal setback to secular forces

New Delhi: Describing the sacking of Darul Uloom Vice Chancellor Ghulam Mohammed Vastanvi as a disappointment for all "secular forces", the BJP on Sunday said he has been "tormented and victimised" for speaking the "truth" about Gujarat`s growth under Narendra Modi.

"Removal of Vastanvi is a great disappointment for all secular forces. Though this is an internal matter of an organisation, it assumes serious connotations as the action taken is in the backdrop of the issue of development in Gujarat," BJP spokesperson Rajiv Pratap Rudy said.

The opposition party also took note of the fact that four members in the governing council supported Vastanvi.

"But it is most unfortunate that he was not removed on charges of corruption or incompetency or for that matter for moral turpitude but for speaking the truth. A truth that Gujarat has developed under Modi," Rudy said.

He insisted that the minorities in Gujarat had benefited from overall growth of the state under Modi`s chief ministership.

"This fact has not been denied by the Planning Commission nor has it been discounted by any statistics nor denied by the people of Gujarat. But Vastanvi has been tormented and victimised for speaking the truth," Rudy said.

He maintained that this decision was not just a disappointment for the BJP but also for all those who feel academics should be above politics and religion.

"This is a major setback to the social and secular fabric of the country. One cannot deny that under the pioneering leadership of Modi, Gujarat has emerged as one of the most prosperous states," Rudy said.