The decision to contest Lok Sabha polls has cost Chandrakanth Kulkarni, the Aam Admi Party candidate from Bidar, his job.
The management of Guru Nanak Dev Engineering College has issued a termination notice to the Associate Professor. It says that according to the bylaws of GND Education Society, which runs the college, employees cannot contest elections or involve in political activity.
The management decided to terminate Prof. Kulkarni as he violated these rules. “Such gross misconduct will not be tolerated,” said a notice signed by Ashok Biradar, the principal.
“I was intimated of the management decision on Saturday,” he told presspersons on Sunday. “I have been given three days to reply. I will send them my explanation. If the management goes ahead with its decision, I will challenge it in court,” Mr. Kulkarni said.
He said that long before he filed his nomination papers, he had met and requested Balbir Singh, president of the society to allow him to contest. “Mr. Singh said I could contest. But later, they changed their mind and sent me this notice,” Mr. Kulkarni said.
He said contesting elections was a fundamental right of Indian citizens. “But, the society’s laws are against these rights,” Mr. Kulkarni said.
He called it a conspiracy by capitalist vested interests. “However, I will not fret over this. I will continue to work hard in my campaign even if I were to lose my life,” Mr. Kulkarni said.
He likened his contest to the race between a hare and a tortoise.
“I am pitted against bigwigs. But I believe in slow and steady wins the race,” Mr. Kulkarni said.
Mr. Singh said the college had warned Mr. Kulkarni against contesting elections before issuing him the termination notice. “We had advised him against political activity. His requests for leave were cancelled solely for this reason. But he had made up his mind,” Mr. Singh said. He said the society’s rules were not against citizens’ right to contest elections.
Lakshman Chauhan, a professor with Karnataka College, a government-aided institution in Bidar, contested and won the Assembly elections from Hulsoor constituency in 1994. He returned to teach in the college after his five year term.