Published: 18th October 2019
Mamata allows elections in four Bengal varsities after 2 years: Students demand polls in every campus
The students of West Bengal have been protesting against the two-year gap in student body polls vehemently since 2017. They did not accept the government's introduction of nominated student councils
The Mamata Banerjee-led government in West Bengal has allowed student union elections after a two-year gap in four institutions across the state. Though students of the specific institutions welcomed the move, they also demanded that not just four but all the colleges and universities need to be allowed to conduct elections to restore the democratic atmosphere.
A letter in this regard was sent by the Assistant Secretary of State for Higher Education Department, Anjan Biswas, to the Vice-Chancellors of Jadavpur University, Presidency University, Rabindra Bharati University and Diamond Harbour Women's University on Thursday. SFI General Secretary, Mayukh Biswas said that the government need to let student elections be conducted in all the colleges and not a selective few. "They have allowed only those colleges where they are sure they will win or are sure that do not have a chance anyway. Rabindra Bharati is a very strong base for the thugs of Trinamool Congress Chhatra Parishad (TMCP). What they do there is just hooliganism. The situation is the same at Diamond Harbour Women's University," said Mayukh. "We will contest the elections at all the four institutes. We already have a running union at the Arts Faculty Students' Union (AFSU) in JU and are also confident of a good result at Presidency," said the student leader, an alumnus of Presidency College himself.
"With reference to the communication received from your end and consultations with different stakeholders, I am directed to inform you that you may hold the elections to the Students' Union/Students' Council as deemed fit," the letter to the VCs read. "We have issued a notification to hold students' union elections in the unitary universities (varsities that act as a single unit without any affiliated college under it). The schedule of the polling will be decided by the university administration concerned," Education Minister Partha Chatterjee told the media.
TMCP has welcomed the move. "This is a welcome development that the state government has removed roadblocks in holding students' union elections in four universities," TMCP president Trinankur Bhattacharya said. He hoped that after the conduct of the students' union elections in the four unitary universities, the state government will gradually hold student body polls in other colleges and universities as well.
The students of Jadavpur University had staged sit-ins and gheraos in 2017 and 2018 demanding that the students' union polls be held. Representatives of the Students' Federation of India and the Arts Faculty Students' Union (AFSU) had twice met Chatterjee over the demand. AFSU has welcomed the move as well.