Aurangabad or Mumbai? Confusion prevails over location of National Law University

Feb 21, 2013, 07:03 IST | Ravikiran Deshmukh

CM was left red-faced after the Cabinet meeting, when his office sent out a press release stating the institute would be set up at Aurangabad even though he insisted that it should be built in Mumbai

Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan was embarrassed yesterday after the cabinet meeting when his office sent out a wrong press release stating that the National Law University would be set up at Aurangabad despite the fact that the CM insisted that the university should come up in Mumbai. His office was also later forced to clarify that the final decision had not been taken yet.

The wrong press release was a humiliating moment for CM Prithviraj Chavan

According to sources, when the topic about the National Law University, which is to be modelled on the lines of the Bangalore-based National Law School, was brought up in the meeting, Minister for Higher Education Rajesh Tope said that the government had already promised that the educational institution would be set up at Aurangabad. However, CM Chavan strongly wanted the institution to be set up in Mumbai, leaving his colleagues from Marathwada and Vidarbha confused and irked.

According to ministers from Marathwada, such as Tope and School Education Minister Rajendra Darda, two previous CMs Vilasrao Deshmukh and Ashok Chavan had promised that the university would come up at Aurangabad. But, at the same time, ministers from Vidarbha argued that Nagpur was the perfect location for the university as it had the required infrastructure and also had the most respected legal luminaries.

However, despite arguments from ministers supporting Nagpur and Aurangabad, the CM was adamant that the university be built in Mumbai. During the debate, Darda argued that he had already promised his electorates from Aurangabad the university during elections.

Despite many arguments, the CM remained firm and the debate, according to a senior minister, ended with the decision going in favour of Mumbai. Later, after the meeting, the CM’s office issued a press note stating that the National Law University would be set up in Aurangabad, which led to a major embarrassment for the CM. After realising their mistake, they communicated to the media that even though a discussion took place, a final decision had yet to be taken. 

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