he Centre and the Bihar government are locked in a tug-of-war over the choice of site for setting up a Central university in the state.
While the Centre roots for Gaya because of its good connectivity, the state government prefers Motihari as it is associated with the memory of Mahatma Gandhi.
Official sources say Union Human Resource minister Kapil Sibal is keen on setting up the university at Gaya because of its excellent road, air and rail connectivity.
Sibal also cited the place's overall locational advantage and low seismic sensitivity after a three-member team of the Union Human Resource Ministry submitted its report to him, after a visit to Gaya.
The committee had zeroed in on an abandoned airfield at Panchananur, located at a distance of around 25 km from the Gaya International Airport and hardly 15 km from Gaya Railway Station on the Grand Chord line.
The land is at present in the possession of the Union Defence Ministry, the sources said.
Gaya is a holy place for both Hindus and Buddhists and is connected to Bangkok, Colombo, Myanmar with direct flights and the road connectivity to it is also very good.
Sibal's choice of Gaya was vehemently opposed by Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, who said Motihari in East Champaran district would be the right choice on account of its being the workplace of Mahatma Gandhi.
Kumar argued, "It will deal a blow to people's sentiments in Bihar... Bihar government will never agree to the Centre's decision to set up the central university in Gaya."