The Aam Aadmi Party today accused HRD Minister Smriti Irani of "humiliating" IIT Delhi Director Raghunath K S Shevgaonkar and said the BJP was "misleading" the country over the issue.
Shevgaonkar has resigned with more than two years of his tenure left amid a controversy over the circumstances under which he quit including alleged pressure put on him by the Human Resources Development Ministry.
Shevgaonkar sent his resignation in a letter to Chairman of IIT Board of Governors Vijay P Bhatkar on Friday evening in which he cited "personal reasons".
AAP said that BJP's "unjustified political interference" is trampling the autonomy of the top institutions for professional and technical education.
"The Aam Aadmi Party challenges the human resources development minister to answer the following two questions. Is it not a fact that she had recently summoned the IIT Delhi director ?
"Is it not a fact that impolite language was used against such a senior professor and is it also not fact that he was humiliated in that meeting?" the party said in a statement.
The party alleged that the BJP was hell bent on imposing its "dangerous agenda" on the nation.
"Ranging from the removal of the Chief Vigilance Officer of AIIMS to the shocking resignation of the IIT Delhi Director, the entire government appears hell bent on imposing its dangerous agenda on the nation.
"The HRD ministry had no right to interfere in the functioning of this autonomous institution and the matter should have been referred to its board of governors. The ministry in particular, appears to have made it a habit to create a controversy on a weekly basis," the statement added.
AAP chief Arvind Kejriwal later wrote on micro-blogging website Twitter, "Sad to learn that IIT Director pressurised by govt. First govt interfered in AIIMS, now IIT. Govt shud stay away from autonomous institutions".
Meanwhile, dismissing allegations levelled by opposition parties over Shevgaonkar's resignation, the BJP said the IIT director was not authorised to sign an MoU with Mauritius without the ministry's approval for setting up an IIT affiliate there.
BJP national secretary Shrikant Sharma said the director of IIT was not authorised to sign the MoU without the approval of the ministry and he could not start a course of his own.
"When asked by the authorities, he was unable to explain the power exercised by him in signing such an MoU as he did not have the prerogative to do so," he said, adding that, the allegations are baseless and aimed at tarnishing BJP's image.
He said the NDA government is trying to rectify the infirmities and inadequacies in the education system created by the previous UPA government and is working in public interest and not in any individual's interest.
"If somebody is twisting the matter for his personal consideration then it is his frustration as BJP is removing errors in the education system created by the previous government and working in public interest," he said.