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Varun Gandhi Calls New JNU VC 'Mediocre,' Stirs Fresh Row After Her Old Tweets

A day earlier, the newly appointed VC's Twitter account was deactivated after her old tweets went viral.

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A day after old tweets from a Twitter account allegedly belonging to Santishree Dhulipudi Pandit, the newly appointed vice chancellor of Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), came under the scanner, a press release signed by her thanking Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Minister of Higher Education stirred a fresh row.

And it started with a tweet from Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MP Varun Gandhi.

On Tuesday, 8 February, Varun Gandhi pointed out that the press release was "littered with grammatical mistakes," adding that "such mediocre appointments serve to damage our human capital & our youth’s future."

It wasn't the first instance of Gandhi's deviation from the dominant stand taken by the BJP. Earlier, his position on the Lakhimpur Kheri deaths and and his objection to the glorification of Nathuram Godse have been much talked about.

However, his tweet was enough to ruffle feathers of many on Twitter.

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'Grammar Not a Problem, Bigotry Is'

Soon after Santishree Dhulipudi Pandit was appointed on Monday, 7 February, her old tweets created a Twitter storm. Many condemned her appointment as they shared her tweets rife with communal sentiments, openly defending MK Gandhi's assassin Nathuram Godse, and slamming protesting farmers.

A few hours later, her account was deactivated.

Now, a day later, her press release, which promises that the immediate focus of the administration would be to provide "clean administration" and create a gender-sensitive and student-friendly environment, has come under fire for being littered with grammatical errors.

Many pointed out that "it's fine if her grammar is bad, it's not fine that she's such a bigot."

Pandit was a professor at the Department of Political Science and Public Administration at Savitribai Phule Pune University prior to her appointment.

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Some defended the errors in the press release.

Meanwhile, the Jawaharlal Nehru University Teachers Association (JNUTA) released a statement, asking Pandit to restore the "sanctity of statutory bodies and engage in transparent dialogic processes of decision making."

The statement added that the JNUTA will present the new administration with demands for ensuring a 'non-partisan administration,' and restoring teaching learning activities as per statutes and ordinances of the university.

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