JNU students will hold a referendum in the campus on April 20 on proposed reappointment of Prof B B Bhattacharya as its Vice Chancellor, even as the move has been put on hold by the university executive council.
Various students' organisations will conduct the referendum to know the opinion of students on reappointment of the present Vice Chancellor for a second term.
The students' bodies except Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad and Youth For Equality have consented to be part of the first-of-its-kind exercise in JNU.
"We want to send a message that we do not want a second term for Prof Bhattacharya. He has been busy curbing students' movement and encouraging commercialisation in the campus," Sandeep Singh, former JNUSU president, alleged.
This is the first students' referendum in any university in India, he said.
The JNU constitution does not allow second term for an incumbent VC. Bhattacharya's first tenure ends in June this year. There is a move to amend the statute of the varsity to have the provision for reappointment of a Vice Chancellor for the second term.
The Executive Council of the varsity discussed the matter on April six but could not reach a consensus. It will be again taken up by the EC towards the end of this month.
The HRD Ministry had issued a circular asking the Jawaharlal Nehru University to amend its statute to facilitate reappointment of a Vice Chancellor. The move has drawn flak from the teachers' association and the students as well.
Vineet Chaturvedi, General Secretary of JNU ABVP, said it is a tactics by Leftists to divert the issue of Naxalism in the campus.
"Even we are against the second term for the VC who has encouraged Naxal elements in the campus. But we will take a final call after a meeting of our cadre," he said.
Youth For Equality will also take a decision on the issue after their core committee meeting.
"We generally do not target any individual. Most probably we will abstain from the referendum," said Amit Ranjan, member of YFE core committee.
JNUTA president Prof B C Tripathy said the VC has conveyed him his reluctance to seek a second term. But the teachers' association is sceptical about the change of mind of the Vice Chancellor.
"I am not sure what he will do on April 27 when the EC meets," Tripathy said.