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Now, Sarkar refuses to wear gown at convocation

 AGARTALA, Sep 25 (IANS): Tripura Chief Minister Manik Sarkar Saturday refused to wear the gown at the convocation of Tripura University, reviving the controversy created by Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh when he removed his robe earlier this year.

"The chief minister refused to put on the convocation gown. We can't force him to wear it," university vice-chancellor Arunoday Saha told reporters.

Sarkar, along with President Pratibha Patil, Tripura Governor D.Y. Patil, university chancellor Amiya Kumar Bagchi, vice-chancellor Saha, University Grants Commission chairman Sukhdeo Thorat and other dignitaries took part in the ceremonial academic procession before the convocation.

Only Sarkar was sporting a white dress -- Pajama and Kurta.

Patil, while addressing the convocation, said he was also feeling uneasy wearing the convocation gown.

In April, Jairam Ramesh, while taking part at a convocation of the Indian Institute of Forest Management (IIFM) in Bhopal, had also refused to wear the coloured convocation gown.

"I still have not been able to figure out after 60 years of India's independence that why we stick to these barbaric colonial relics," Ramesh had said.

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