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Former HRD Minister Murli Manohar Joshi Calls For JNU V-C's Removal over Fee Hike Issue

The BJP stalwart said it had advised V-C Jagadesh Kumar to implement 'certain reasonable' ways to resolve the fee hike issue and reach out to teachers and students.


Updated:January 9, 2020, 11:41 PM IST
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Former HRD Minister Murli Manohar Joshi Calls For JNU V-C's Removal over Fee Hike Issue
File photo of BJP leader Murli Manohar Joshi. (Image : PTI)

New Delhi: Even as protests calling for the removal of Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) Vice-Chancellor continue, BJP veteran leader Murli Manohar Joshi on Thursday criticised V-C M Jagadesh Kumar and termed his attitude on the fee hike issue as "deplorable".

Joshi, a former Human Resource Development (HRD) minister in the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government from 1998 to 2004, said the ministry had advised Kumar to implement "certain reasonable" ways to resolve the issue and to reach out to teachers and students.

"It is shocking that the V-C is adamant for not implementing the government proposal. This attitude is deplorable and in my opinion such a V-C should not be allowed to continue on this post," he said in a tweet.

Joshi's tweet came even as the VC on Thursday said that there has been no deviation from the "formula" arrived at by the HRD Ministry and the students are not being charged any services or utility fees.

Joshi is the first BJP leader to have spoken out against the V-C since the Sunday attack on the JNU campus by a mob of masked persons. The attack took place a short while after students of the university staged protests demanding a recall of the fee hike.

The students on Thursday took out a march to Rashtrapati Bhavan following an "unsatisfactory" meeting with the HRD Ministry. The students in the meeting had demanded the sacking of the V-C. They were, however, stopped by the police.

HRD Secretary Amit Khare later said that Kumar's sacking "is not a solution", adding the HRD Ministry's focus is only on academic issues and not political matters.

JNU Students' Union presidents, who had been injured in the mob attack, said, "We are in no position to compromise with the HRD ministry. It's still thinking whether the V-C should be removed."

In October last year, the administration had proposed a hike in the hostel and maintenance fees, which sparked widespread agitations by students and teachers. Following this, a three-member panel constituted by HRD ministry recommended that there be "no alteration of fees during the middle of the academic session".

The JNUSU, however, called for a boycott of the semester registration process demanding a complete rollback of the fee hike. The attack on the students and teachers came a day after the administration on January 4 had alleged disruption in the registration process.

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