Senior Bharatiya Janata Party leader and former minister Murli Manohar Joshi yesterday joined the growing chorus for the ouster of Jawaharlal Nehru University Vice Chancellor Mamidala Jagadesh Kumar.
“Reports are that the HRD Ministry had twice advised the JNU V-C to implement certain reasonable and working formula for resolving the issue for enhanced fees in JNU,” Joshi said in a statement.
“He has advised to reach out to the teachers and students. It is shocking that the V-C is adamant for not implementing the government proposal.”
Upping the ante on the controversial V-C whose tenure has been marked by protests, Joshi added, “This attitude is deplorable and in my opinion such a V-C should not be allowed to continue in his post.”
This demand is significant as Joshi is probably the first BJP leader who has joined the chorus for Kumar’s ouster. This demand interestingly comes on a day when JNU students tried to march to Rashtrapati Bhawan, demanding his dismissal.
Ever since JNU hiked fees, the campus has witnessed many protests which spilled onto the streets. With the contentious Citizenship Amendment Act coming into place, the ongoing protests were further emboldened.
But last Sunday’s violence inside the campus by unidentified people and the V-C’s alleged delay in calling the police has now prompted the students to demand his resignation. With a BJP leader of Joshi’s stature joining the chorus, Kumar is surely going to feel the heat, analysts said.
Meanwhile, Bollywood actress Deepika Padukone’s decision to attend a protest meeting on the JNU campus on Tuesday has riled up some people, who have called for a boycott of her latest movie Chhapaak, while another section has supported her.
The Congress accused the central government of complicity in the violence and said even 72 hours after the incident no suspect has been identified and arrested.
“The Minister of Human Resource Development and the Home Minister are responsible for the attacks. This is officially sponsored “goondaism” in JNU,” Congress leader Jairam Ramesh said.
“We demand that those responsible for the violence be arrested immediately.”
The party targeted the vice-chancellor again for the series of events on the university campus.
“With this V-C the campus cannot return to normalcy and the government should force him to resign,” he said.