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NLIU students try to veto Allahabad Uni’s BP Singh as new director choice • Question opacity in director appointment process

Who is fit enough to be next ‘visionary’ director at NLIU Bhopal?Who is fit enough to be next ‘visionary’ director at NLIU Bhopal?

NLIU Bhopal has hit limbo in the appointment of its next director since Tuesday, as first reported by the Times of India, because students have opposed the nomination of Allahabad University professor Bhanu Pratap Singh to the post, based on the ground that in their opinion several other candidates rejected had far greater fitness for the post.

Prof BP Singh told us today that he has not received any communication to date of his nomination for appointment as NLIU VC, and he is not aware of his selection.

Students learned about the nomination and the recommendations, as well as about names of other interested candidates for NLIU VC, through reports in local newspapers, they told us.

They therefore objected to being “kept in the dark” about the entire process of selection of their new VC, until it was too late.

Singh’s appointment

Singh was to be reportedly appointed as successor to former NLIU director Prof SS Singh, simultaneously with the appointment of NLU Jabalpur’s first director.

While Jabalpur got former RMLNLU Lucknow vice chancellor Balraj Chauhan as director two days ago, as we reported yesterday, NLIU has not yet announced Singh’s appointment.

The Madhya Pradesh high court had nominated Singh, out of three recommendations submitted by the search committee comprising Chauhan, NLU Delhi vice chancellor Prof Ranbir Singh and Madhya Pradesh high court judge Justice RS Jha. The search committee’s other two recommendations were NLSIU Bangalore’s Prof V Vijaykumar and Ambedkar University Lucknow’s Prof SK Bhatnagar.

On 8 May students wrote to Madhya Pradesh high court Chief Justice Hemant Gupta stating:

We wish to bring your Lordship’s attention to the fact that far more qualified candidates were overlooked to nominate Prof. Bhanu Pratap Singh among the Top-3 who were finally recommended.

The respectable candidate has an API [Academic Performance Index] score of 10, while the others contesting for the post have API scores ranging from 1000-2700.

He has no such credentials or academic qualifications that make him an exceptional choice to bypass other far more qualified candidates for the post.

There has been no justification or proof regarding the qualifications or achievements of accepting the application of the said candidate.

Singh has told us that those API scores were outdated and not complete (see below).

Proof of academics

A student at NLIU pointed us to the break-up of Singh’s API scores per individual scores in various areas of academic capability, as found in a list published by RMLNLU Lucknow of candidates who had applied to the post of its vice chancellor last year. This document was available on RMLNLU’s website until April this year, the student said.

According to the document, Singh had a score of “0” in the following areas: research papers authored, books authored, projects submitted, awards or fellowships received and PhD students guided.

Singh had a score of “10” in only one area - the number of conferences or seminars attended. Based on this he obtained a total score, or API score of 10. His was the only double digit score in the list of 15 candidates, two others had triple digit scores whereas all the others had scores above 1000, the maximum being 2600.

However, Singh told us that the list published by RMLNLU was not the final list used but was published only for inviting the candidates’ objections.

He had submitted his objection that he had supervised 8 PhDs, and not “0” as stated in the document, he told us, and named four research scholars whose PhDs he supervised and who have been placed in various universities.

Administrative expectation

At NLIU students had undertaken wide scale protests for a rinse of its administration. Its former director Prof SS Singh had to resign abruptly due to student protests over administrative opacity and arbitrariness.

They stated in the letter:

There has been a sheer lack of transparency in this whole process of appointment of Director, which has been going on for almost six months now. Considering the fact that this situation arose amidst such circumstances that questioned the very legitimacy of the system, it should have been ensured that crucial information is not withheld from the student body. What must be noted is that it is a practice across National Law Universities to ensure transparency in the process, with a public declaration of a list of applicants, the ones shortlisted and declaration of their Academic Performance Indices (API scores). Unfortunately, none of this happened in our case. The student body has been kept in the dark about this whole process, of which it is the most important stakeholder.

Due to the recent blow to NLIU over fake degrees having been issued, as well as the peculiar administrative problems arising at successive NLUs, students also wrote that they were concerned about Singh as a choice, because he lacked an impressive track record, unlike some of the other candidates who had applied.

Students also claimed, which Singh squarely denied, that he had an ongoing criminal case against him since 2013 in the Allahabad high court before justice MK Gupta.

Singh today in a phone call strongly denied ever having had a civil or a criminal case against him or even an FIR having ever been lodged against him.

The other applicants who the students learned were not selected for various reasons, but whom students appeared to prefer:

  • Prof. (Dr.) Shamnad Basheer (IDIA founding trustee, former NUJS Kolkata IP chair professor, award winning academic)
  • Prof. (Dr.) Srikrishna Deva Rao (Vice Chancellor, NLU Orissa)
  • Prof. (Dr.) Paramjit S. Jaswal (Vice Chancellor, RGNUL Patiala)
  • Prof. S.C. Raina (Vice Chancellor, HPNLU Shimla)

Singh contested the students’ opinion, and commented: “I belong to a traditional university - the University of Allahabad which is a central university. As compared to this university and many other traditional universities, national law universities are only baby institutions.

“They have existed since the 90s. Any senior-most teachers of these universities have only approximately 20 years of experience. So a person with 20, I do not know if any such person has been appointed VC of any NLU.”

He added: “In this regard I have to say that in Allahabad University in 2005 I was given the responsibility by the vice chancellor to introduce 5-year integrated LLB in faculty of law.

“I introduced the course and it successfully ran from the next academic year until 2006-2007. I have been coordinator of this course for 10 years and the status of the course is much more huge, our students have won several moot court competitions where NLUs have been participating.”

General unrest in the NLU universe as proof of demanding better

This is also, notably, during a year when NUJS Kolkata students protested and got rid of its vice chancellor Prof Ishwara Bhat for inefficiency and mismanagement, CNLU Patna students fought tooth and nail Bhat’s appointment as CNLU’s VC and didn’t let it go through, and NUSRL Ranchi students through months of protests managed to win a replacement for allegedly under-performing VC Prof BC Nirmal, among other student protests against bad administration.

Also, at NUJS students had once managed to convince the administration to remove the registrar, after corruption charges were proved against him.

NLIU students therefore wrote in their letter to the Chief Justice:

Students are of the unanimous view, that in this time, where the reputation of the university is at stake due to reports of the Degree Scam (perpetrated during the tenure of Prof. S.S. Singh and the full scope of which is only now becoming clear) and when the University has fallen in ranking in comparison to other National Law Schools due to the academic stagnation and maladministration, it is essential that a good leader is brought to this post, who can restore NLIU’s former glory.

The need of the hour is to bring someone who not only understands the culture of NLUs (as distinct from other traditional law universities) and but also the aspirations and needs of the student community, someone who has the capability to bring us out of this stagnation that NLIU has been facing for the past 10 years and who can take charge of the administration. We need a visionary, someone who can take us forward and herald our university into an age where we can begin competing with the other law schools, in India and abroad.

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By reading the comments you agree that they are the (often anonymous) personal views and opinions of readers, which may be biased and unreliable, and for which Legally India therefore has no liability. If you believe a comment is inappropriate, please click 'Report to LI' below the comment and we will review it as soon as practicable.
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Like +3 Object -31 Correct decision 10 May 18, 18:11  troll?
Certain students and their mouthpiece Legally India are crossing limits. You are leaking confidential information without proof and making defamatory remarks. Who are you to decide who will be the Director when such a senior professor like Prof Ranbir Singh and Hon'ble High Court judge has made a decision and Hon'ble High Court has supported it? There is one badmash fellow in legal academics who is a known Congress supporter. He may be instigating this. The job of this fellow is only to get publicity. Professor Bhanu Pratap Singh is a very honest and sincere person and will be the best person suited for the position.
Reply Report to LI
Like +14 Object -3 NLU student 10 May 18, 18:46  interesting
Who are the students to decide who the director will be? Only the most important stakeholders in the system. An institution runs because of its students.
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Like +3 Object -0 Correct Comment 10 May 18, 18:57
I don't know where you're coming from but it's definitely an uninformed sphere. It's very easy for you to sit behind the garb of anonymity and pass a judgement without knowing the the ground realities. You're only misleading people towards your traditional apprehensions, the existence of which are a creation of your mind. If you have substantial proof to support what you're saying then add to the discussion otherwise your anonymous life of nothing less is best suited for you.
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Like +8 Object -1 What the epic 10 May 18, 19:38  interesting
Absolutely, the congress has something to do with this for sure. Between Karnataka elections and the VC of NLIU, the VC is definitely a priority.

Get your head out of your (aged) ass, man. Not everything is about your bhajpai conspiracy theories.
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Like +6 Object -0 True Story 10 May 18, 20:18  interesting
In relation to Correct decision ( point 1) I feel sorry that you haven’t been able to understand the context and have tried to make a political debate. Being from a NLU, I know the kind of atmosphere of mistrust that prevails between the students and system as a whole. And it not because the students are being overtly demanding or trying to rule the system, it is majorly because of the lack of transparency in the system. Any rationally thinking person (unlike you” would feel apprehensive if the applicant list is not released given how things have turned out since the time they had to fight a battle for removing the director, a battle that was justified as was found by the committee set up. If you would have followed what’s been happening and what the students have written to the CJ, it is abundantly clear that students have said that an action should not be taken to the detriment of the institution. Nowhere are they trying to pin point who they want as their director. They are demanding a transparent process, which is their right as stakeholders to the University.
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Like +9 Object -0 Aamchi NLU 10 May 18, 20:20  interesting
It’s very brave in part of NLIU to be soaking out these issues in the most organised and carefree manner. Some sanghis will try to put you down, out you guys need to keep going, it’s amazing how you have been able to make use of the RML API list. More power to you guys,
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Like +8 Object -1 Nahi re Sanghi 10 May 18, 20:40  interesting
Sanghis being Sanghi. Don’t politicise a cause. Your 2 rupees politics can never match the conviction shown by the students to ask for what is right.
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Like +20 Object -0 Jesse Pinkman 10 May 18, 18:28  interesting  top rated
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Like +0 Object -5 Guest 10 May 18, 18:53
If it is true that there is no criminal can pending against Prof Singh then the students who made this allegation must be expelled.
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Like +2 Object -0 What the epic 10 May 18, 19:36
On what basis?
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Like +8 Object -1 W 10 May 18, 19:11  interesting
The VC of HPNLU should not be considered as the NLU has not even been set up. The VC of NLUO should not be considered as VCs need to stay at a university for a few years instead of changing all the time. Shamnad Basheer cannot be considered as he only received his PhD in 2012 or so and lacks the seniority. The most suitable senior candidates were thus Prof Jaiswal and Prof Vijaykumar, but I believe one of them will head to NLUD and another to NUJS. So maybe keeping this in mind the choice was made.
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Like +2 Object -1 Really 12 May 18, 23:40
Prof Vijayakumar should be appointed as the Director of NLIU. NUJS students don't want him as the Vice Chancellor.
We have far better candidates for VC of NUJS.
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Like +0 Object -0 Potter 13 May 18, 11:10
Why not Vijayakumar Sir?
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Like +3 Object -0 Kyu Bhai? 10 May 18, 20:23
Preferred [...]? NLIU, you just got rid of one authoritative, mysogynistic man. Why would you want to institute another in his stead?
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Like +0 Object -0 Isliye NLIU 10 May 18, 20:37
These are just the names of the few others who had applied. These people are much more qualified than BPS and fit the criterion as well. I think it’s wrongly reported by mistake.
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Like +7 Object -0 Save NLUs 10 May 18, 20:25  interesting
Lack of transparency is the one of the major reasons why NLUs failing to achieve good leadership. The state government and judiciary use the system to further their own gains and this is an apt example of the same. It is high time we nationalise the NLUs and make them institutions of importance to remove such manhandling or bright talent
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Like +10 Object -0 Allahabad uni strong 10 May 18, 20:30  interesting
AU salutes NLIU students. #Corrupt
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Like +14 Object -0 Wise Man 10 May 18, 21:08  interesting  top rated
NLU students across India must unite and fight for status modelled on IITs and IIMs. At IIT and IIM there is always alumni and industry representation on the board, directors are chosen by the board and free of outside interference, there is autonomy in academic and administration, and there are unified pan-IIT and pan-IIM alumni bodies with strong influence (e.g. IIM Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Calcutta, Lucknow etc are all members together). Here are the websites:

1) Pan IIT:

2) Pan IIM:

There should be a Pan NLU body, else the government will not listen to you.
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Like +1 Object -0 Wise Guy 13 May 18, 10:32
Tum banao na bhai. We'll support :)
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Like +2 Object -0 NLU Watcher 11 May 18, 09:01
1. Prof(s) Madhava Menon, MP Singh, VS Rekhi (Founder VC, NLIU), Ranbir Singh, AK Kaul, Balraj Chauhan, Late Gurjit Singh, SC Raina, PS Jaswal etc. all taught throughout their career in traditional universities. All these gentlemen very quickly adapted to NLUs environment. Rather they created the NLUs’ environment.
2. The senior Professors in traditional universities pass through solution processes for resolving multiple issues and problems arising there. In some Universities, the number of students in Law department is much higher than that of all the NLUs. Some of the current VCs in NLUs are really popular as they do not indulge in moral policing, appease those who matter and hop from one Law University to another University because of right connections.
3. Most of the Law Universities including NLIU, CNLU Patna, NUJS etc. are passing through critical phases like students’ unrest, fake degrees, drinking in hostels etc. which can be sorted out by the seasoned Professors only. In some places, the students’ agitations are being engineered by some vested interests including the faculty members who do not want to be governed by a VC who refuses to ignore their wrong doings.
"The good faculty members and students in NLUs want peace in the campus but they are helpless."
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Like +10 Object -0 LulzSec 11 May 18, 11:54  interesting
We are sharing something important in public interest. We are compiling a list of PhD theses of Indian law professors in a Google doc. Below is a list we have made so far. Ww encourage everyone to keep adding.

The purpose of this is to separate high quality professors from those who plagiarise. The UGC has recently enacted plagiarism rules under which plagiarist professors can be sacked. After our list is complete we will check the theses using Turn it In.We will start a revolution demanding that plagiarists be sacked and original scholars be commended. Please see the links to understand the context:

~~~LulzSec ~~

PhD Theses of Professors at Leading Indian Law Schools

Current and Former VCs:
NR Madhava Menon
BS Chimni:
A Jayagovind:
Faizan Mustafa:
Yogesh Tyagi
Vijender Kumar

V Balakista Reddy

Sairam Bhat

KPS Mahalwar

T Sudhakar
Arup Kumar Poddar:
Sandeepa Bhat
N Sreenivasulu
Kavita Singh

Aston Joshua
Nidhi Buch
Kalpeshkumar Gupta
Anand Saurabh
Asha Verma

South Asian University
Srinivas Burra
Stellina Jolly
Luther Rangreji

IIT Law School
Indrajit Dube
Dipa Dube
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Like +0 Object -0 Blue Beetle 11 May 18, 18:14
Is there only one professor each at NLSIU, NALSAR and NLUD at present? :-o
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Like +2 Object -0 Guest 11 May 18, 13:59
I have been coordinator of this course for 10 years and the status of the course is much more huge, our students have won several moot court competitions where NLUs have been participating.”
Name one.
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Like +3 Object -0 Guest 11 May 18, 14:24
Here is the list of applicants for VC of RMLNU along with their full details. This will give you an idea of how VCs are selected. But it is totally wrong to look at API scores. As per this metric, an article in Harvard Law Review and Patna Law Journal get the same points, a degree from a top international university versus Marathwada University get the same points!
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Like +7 Object -0 Onlooker 11 May 18, 15:30  interesting
As a matter of practice, the candidates send their CVs and highlight their experience in administering the college/department. It is believed that the candidates having higher experience of administration stand better chance of being selected as VC. API scores have no place. It is a subjective selection. That is why once a professor becomes VC of one NLU, he manages to jump to another NLU as VC, partly because of their contacts in the established fraternity. The CJ-Chancellors, mainly judges, also do not take risk of inviting a fresh face as the judges have little information about the good professors in the field. They may consult an existing/retired VC and whatever he says the Chancellors (CJ) believe. The students and faculty at NLUs also clamour for a new VC from known names in their all India NLU circle. But only students come forward and make appeals/ stage agitations.
Since long, no NLU has done/promoted any serious research worth citing. A few researchers stay in NLUs. But, the researchers do not aspire to be VC as they may not be good in liason/PR work.
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Like +0 Object -0 Guest 11 May 18, 16:49
Spot on. Good comment.
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Like +0 Object -0 Querer 11 May 18, 15:42
Which three were eventually selected in the panel? Any information/rumour?
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Like +0 Object -0 Insider 12 May 18, 14:21
The three who were finally shortlisted were-
Prof V Vijayakumar (NLS)
Prof SK Bhatnagar (Lucknow Central University)
BP Singh (this chap)
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Like +0 Object -3 UPite 12 May 18, 19:21
33.33% wrong...the grapevine is that name of Prof. BP Singh is not there in RMLNLU, Lucknow panel; Justice UU Lalit was in search committee of Lucknow.
As a matter of fact, no body knows even about NLIU, Bhopal panel because there is no official announcement... but there is so much fuss about 'one name' because of malicious and unsubstantiated revelations in media.
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Like +1 Object -0 Insider 13 May 18, 10:41
Umm.. You seem to have not read my comment at all. I was referring to the three names that were recommended by the Search Committee for NLIU Bhopal. There was no official announcement of course but these have been verified from official sources by the media (both online and print)
As for RMLNLU, I have no idea about either the panel or the short-listed candidates other then the list uploaded on their website. Mr. BP Singh appears on both lists
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Like +0 Object -0 Querer 13 May 18, 21:06
This question was about RMLNLU.
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Like +1 Object -14 Academician 11 May 18, 17:03
I have one message for Madam Prachi and Legal India. What business you have interfering all the time in internal matters of NLU colleges? Time after time you are doing this and instigating students to protest. Who are you? Who gave you the authority? Is it true that your website is run by foreign nationals? We have already seen anti-India elements interfere in JNU. Now we are seeing Naxalism creeping into NLU colleges.
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Like +3 Object -1 Sweet Bee 11 May 18, 18:15
Sir... useful and meaningful interventions need to be allowed. In a democratic set up, a productive discussion is justified but it is certainly not good to canvass for anyone person to be considered for the post of VC as is normally done. You may be right in perceiving that some motivated comments are posted here by vested interests to project their candidates for Vcship. Some hooligans may post trash here but calling them naxal elements is too much... Sir. The purpose is to bring good and saner elements in the NLUs administrative hierarchy to streamline the system. It is not traditional universities versus NLUs debate at all.
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Like +1 Object -0 Insider 12 May 18, 14:23
NLU colleges? Lol
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Like +0 Object -0 Outsider 12 May 18, 18:06
Yes... oldies prefer to call them colleges as they confuse law "schools" with primary schools. Got it.
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Like +0 Object -0 Guest 14 May 18, 01:10
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Like +1 Object -3 Nliuite 12 May 18, 23:47
Good to see the crackpot seniors finally doing what they should instead of harrasing juniors.
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Like +0 Object -0 Potter 13 May 18, 11:08
What do you mean to say? nothing clear.
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Like +1 Object -3 Informer 13 May 18, 13:13
Prof Vijaykumar will be next VC of NUJS. Selection has already been made. Reliable info.
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Like +2 Object -3 Bhaiya 13 May 18, 13:45
Even the Selection Committee hasn't been fully selected yet, you rumour-mongerer! Let alone people applying for the position. Quit spreading lies from under the cloak of anonymity!
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Like +1 Object -0 Wise Guy 13 May 18, 19:51
Isn't there a retirement age of 65 at NUJS? Prof VVK is already 65, recently retired from NLS
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Like +0 Object -0 Roamer 14 May 18, 13:49
Yes... it is. You are right...Sir.
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Like +0 Object -0 LI 13 May 18, 13:27
@Kian, yes, Prof. (Dr.) V Vijayakumar has been selected to be the next VC of NLIU. You can publish this info. The HC will issue the final order tomorrow. Hello take charge in this week.
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Like +1 Object -0 Roamer 13 May 18, 14:24
In fact, there was no move to offer post to Prof BP Singh, an outsider to NLU cabinet. It was a planned propaganda by the power-centres, their CLUB members, beneficiaries, followers who usually manage posting of VCs in 80% of NLUs.
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Like +0 Object -0 Wise Guy 13 May 18, 19:52
Ok Sir. Enlighten us as to the motives of this planned propaganda by the power-centres, their CLUB members, et al
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Like +0 Object -0 Roamer 14 May 18, 13:46
It was less of anti-BP Singh campaign; rather more of a xenophobic propaganda wherein a candidate for VC who fails to pay allegiance (salaam sahib) to the Power-Durbar is maligned tooth and nail. Incidentally, the NLUs in deep south are,"at the moment", out of the clutches of the CLUB. This CLUB orchestrates the hopping of any VC to another NLU, mores so in North India.
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Like +0 Object -0 Roamer 14 May 18, 13:52
...... See above
any VC means the VC paying allegiance to the high command CLUB.
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