Published: 17th October 2017
Amidst several controversies, Pondicherry University elects first woman president
Namratha K stood as an independent candidate but received support from the SFI but she is now representing the DMK student Wing, which has put off SFI members
Usually, the election of a University's first woman President would be welcomed with a lot of fanfare, however, things were a little different at Pondicherry University. There was utter confusion. Confusion over the independent Presidential elect's political backing and the accusation that she switched parties according to her convenience.
Namratha K, a first-year Masters student from the Political Science department, will be PU's first woman President and she represents the DMK's youth-wing party.However, her DMK leanings are not going down well with members of the Student Federation of India, who claim that she had been supported by the SFI but changed her party just the day before the election.
The Hue and Cry
"As a candidate standing for elections for school posts (Departments), the SFI had supported Namratha and she had won the election. When she went on to stand for the Student Union elections as an independent candidate, she had the support of the SFI too. However, she asked for the post of the President which we denied since we wanted her to stand for the secretary's post. She then chose to switch to the DMK party," said A Anand, President of SFI.
When Edex spoke to Namratha about the issue, she agreed that the SFI did support her for the first round of elections,"I did have their support but I was still an independent candidate but I'm grateful that they supported me. Many people were happy when I won and wanted to support me. But when I decided to stand for the Presidential post I thought it might be better to affiliate with a party because the elections take place across the state and I would need help campaigning. That's when I chose to be part of the DMK and they wanted me to stand for the President's post."
Putting Behind the Controversy
Namratha says that issues over party affiliations are common and not something that is happening for the first time. She added that she chose to be part of the DMK because her father was also currently a member of the party and she believed in the party's ideology. "The SFI has done a good job but they have still not done enough," she said.
Putting behind all the controversies surrounding her win, Namratha said that she is looking forward to taking charge of the student union. Her agenda includes ensuring the college gets a VC, something that the students have been fighting for months. "There has been continuous protests on campus demanding a VC, so that is a priority for me. I will make sure that the University gets a VC this year. The other issues I will deal with is basic issues like the food and living facilities on campus," she explained.
Hailing from Pollachi, Namratha says that she's confident about doing a good job because she's been in the same University for four years and knows about it through and through,"I'm doing a five-year PG integrated course, so I've spent quite a few years to understand the issues that plague the campus."