Published: 17th October 2018
Student union polls in Haryana after 22 years, most parties boycott them
According to the results available till 5 pm, 517 of the 1,108 class representatives (CRs) had been elected unopposed in 11 universities in the state
Student union elections were held in Haryana after 22 years on Wednesday but barring the BJP-affiliated ABVP major student bodies stayed away, protesting that these were only indirect polls.
In Kurukshetra, over 70 protesting students were detained by police.
There were reports of similar demonstrations from other parts of the state.
In the indirect polling system, class representatives are elected in colleges and department representatives in universities. They in turn elect the president and other office bearers of student unions.
According to the results available till 5 pm, 517 of the 1,108 class representatives (CRs) had been elected unopposed in 11 universities in the state. Similarly, 1,816 CRs in colleges were elected unopposed.
Student union polls were banned in 1996 by the then chief minister Bansi Lal following incidents of violence.
The state Education Minister Ram Bilas Sharma said the polling was peaceful. There was tight security on the campuses, including in Kurukshetra University and Maharshi Dayanand University in Rohtak.
In Kurukshetra, over 200 students affiliated to the National Students Union of India (NSUI) and the now disbanded Indian National Students' Organisation - the student wings of the Congress and the Indian National Lok Dal respectively - held a demonstration.
Other student organisations also joined the procession to express resentment against the state government over the holding of indirect elections.
The police rounded up over 70 protesting students in Kurukshetra for violating prohibitory orders imposed under section 144 of the CrPC, Kurukshetra's Deputy Superintendent of Police Gurmail Singh said. They were taken to the police station and later released.
Protests against indirect polls also took place at other places, including Kaithal and Faridabad, reports said.
Congratulating the students, teachers and officials, Ram Bilas Sharma said the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party had lived up to its election promise.
In the run-up to October 2014 assembly elections, the BJP had promised that if voted to power it will revoke the ban on student elections.
On Friday, Haryana police had resorted to baton-charges on students sitting on dharnas in Kurukshetra and Rohtak demanding direct polls.