Published: 15th September 2023
Odisha: Eggs hurled at Education Minister's residence for no response over student elections
The student bodies including NSUI and ABVP said that they are vehemently against the government's unresponsive behaviour over their requests
As the Higher Education Department of Odisha showed no indications of holding student union elections in the state this year as well, the members of the National Students' Union of India (NSUI), irked by no response from the board, took a fierce vindictive character. On Thursday, September 14, the student body hurled eggs at the residence of Higher Education Minister Atanu Sabyasachi Nayak in Bhubaneswar, reports The New Indian Express.
The members of NSUI also burnt a copy of the common academic calendar released by the department on Wednesday, September 13 and warned the officials that they might resort to protests and take out rallies if the decision of not conducting students' union elections remains unchanged.
Why are the elections important?
The board claims that the elections have not been held since 2018 due to several reasons, one of which is the violence on campuses.
As there is no elected students' council or a union, the institutions have made an ad-hoc arrangement where they have two nominated representatives for each batch who lend a supportive hand to the extra-curricular activities of the departments around the year.
These students act as the bridge between students and the university or college administration.
Demands of NSUI
The NSUI deemed that such a process would kill the democratic rights of the students, and hence, demanded the state government to announce the election dates at the earliest failing which, they would call a statewide agitation.
The president of the state NSUI, Yasir Nawaz stated that there is a political impetus behind the affair, as the BJD (Biju Janata Dal) is worried that it might lose the elections if it is held. Therefore, it is undemocratically stopped year after year for one reason or the other, but this year, he adds, there is no reason for hindering and avoiding the process.
Other student bodies protest
The Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) members, too, staged a demonstration outside Utkal University and burnt the effigy of the Higher Education Minister on the day. They also demanded the conduction of elections to elect students' council/union immediately for the cause of students' welfare and campus development.
ABVP Head Arajeet Pattnayak said that they might gherao Naveen Nivas, the residence of the Chief Minister of Odisha, Naveen Patnaik, if the dates are not announced immediately.