The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) Saturday attacked the central government for appointing Chetan Chauhan the chairperson of the National Institute of Fashion Technology (NIFT) and accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of trying to “destroy all government institutions”.
The party claimed the former cricketer was being “rewarded for shielding” Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley over alleged irregularities in the Delhi District and Cricket Association (DDCA).
AAP claimed the Prime Minister and BJP president Amit Shah were giving away top positions in government institutions to “sychophants” in the party.
Chief Minister and AAP convenor Arvind Kejriwal tweeted, “Modi ji ne bhi chun chun ke chamchon ki fauj jama ki h (Modiji has carefully chosen his army of sychophants) — Gajendra Chauhan, Chetan Chauhan, Pahlaj Nihalani, Arnab Goswami, Smriti Irani.”
AAP spokesperson Raghav Chadha said, “Modiji has decided he will destroy all government institutions. After appointing Gajendra Chauhan to head FTII and making Pahlaj Nihalani the chief of the Censor Board, the absurdity continues with the pointless appointment of Chetan Chauhan has NIFT chairman. A person who doesn’t know the ‘F’ of fashion has been appointed to head the most reputed fashion institute in the country.”
He added that media reports had quoted Chauhan — a two-time BJP MP and the DDCA vice-president — thanking Modi and Shah for appointing him the NIFT chairman, which suggested that the Prime Minister and the BJP chief had chosen him for the position.
According to the NIFT Act 2006, the chairperson of the Board of Governors is expected to be “an eminent academician, scientist or technologist or professional, to be nominated by the Visitor” of the institute, which is the President. The term of the appointment is three years.
Chadha demanded to know which of the categories — eminent academician, scientist or technologist or professional — Chauhan came under. “What does he have to do with fashion and on what basis was his appointment made,” he asked.
Mocking the decision to appoint Chauhan, the AAP proceeded to give BJP “suggestions” for further appointments. “The AAP would like to suggest that the BJP appoint Chetan Bhagat RBI governor, Anupam Kher chief of ISRO and Eknath Khadse the chief of NIA,” said Chadha.
However, Union Textiles Minister Santosh Kumar Gangwar defended Chauhan’s appointment, saying the NIFT board has 11 members belonging to different walks of life, including businessmen as well as designers.