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12 January 2018, 11:34 | Opal Carroll
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee PTI file
"India has diversity of origin and we should respect that".
The Calcutta High Court on Tuesday agreed to hear a petition against Calcutta University's decision to award an honorary DLitt degree to West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee, according to media reports. "We will submit our arguments before the high court during the hearing".
"When you (Calcutta University) have made a decision to confer the title upon me, people are opposing it". He also claimed that no incumbent chief minister has been conferred the award. Banerjee, an alumnus of the university, was recognised for her social service.
Earlier on Oct 25 past year, following a meeting of the university's Senate-Syndicate, CU's Vice-Chancellor (VC), Sonali Chakraborty Banerjee, announced to award Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee with honourary D.Litt degree during the prestigious institute's convocation in south Kolkata's Nazrul Mancha.
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She said, "I was persuaded by Higher Education Minister Partha Chatterjee and the university authorities. Don't worry, I will not use it", said Banerjee after receiving the award.
He reasoned that those who have chose to confer the honour to the chief minister are the CU senate members who are appointed by the state government which is headed by Ms Banerjee as its chief minister. The government's argument that former chief ministers Jyoti Basu and Dr BC Roy, too, had received similar degrees from the university was incorrect, Mukhopadhyay said, as they had received their honorary degrees after stepping down from their position.
The West Bengal government told the HC that a PIL challenging Calcutta University's decision to confer honorary D.Litt to CM Mamata was politically motivated.
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