Dhaka, Sunday   17 February 2019

Student organisations remain at variance over DUCSU polls

 Staff Correspondent daily-bangladesh.com

 Published: 10:19 PM, 17 February 2019  

File Photo

File Photo

Politically active student organisations are still in disagreement over the location of the polling booths of Dhaka University Central Students’ Union (DUCSU) and hall unions’ election, scheduled for March 11, 2019.

On January 29, the university syndicate decided that the polling centres would be set up in the respective dormitories where students would cast their votes to elect their representatives, after around 29 years.

Welcoming the DU authority’s decision, pro-Awami League students’ body Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL) led alliance “Chhatra Sangram Parishad” which includes eight other student organisations ranging from pro-JSD Chhatra League and pro-Workers’ Party Chhatra Moitri is in favour of setting up of polling booths at the halls. Several pro-BCL Teacher-Students’ Center (TSC)–based socio-cultural organisations also support this position.

On the other hand, BNP’s student wing, Jatiyatabadi Chhatra Dal (JCD) is demanding delay of DUCSU polls by at least three months for creating a congenial political atmosphere in the campus, as promised by the authorities and setting up of polling booths at academic buildings for “fair polls”.

Apart from this, Progressive Students’ Alliance and Anti-Imperialism Students’ Alliance at a press conference today at Madhur Canteen gave a six-point demand that included setting up of polling booths outside the halls for the “safety of voters’ franchise”.

Meanwhile, DU Shikkharti Odhikar Mancho (Students’ Rights’ Platform) formed in February 2012 who were instrumental in compelling the DU authorities to announce the DUCSU poll, urged the university authorities to arrange a referendum on the choice of the venue for voting as there was difference of opinion over the issue among the student organisations. 

JCD leaders and activists who gathered at the Madhur canteen after a lapse of nine years for the third day today held a press conference there with JCD general secretary (GS) Akramul Hasan reinstated their demand to shift the polling booths at academic buildings to “avoid any possibility of ballot stuffing”.

“We are demanding deferment of the poll for establishing a peaceful co-existence and cordial atmosphere ahead of the DUCSU election. The election conducting body must be reformed as it was made by pro-Awami League teachers,” Akram added. JCD DU unit president Al Mehedi Talukder and GS Abul Bashar Siddique, among others, were present.

Refuting the demand of the JCD and the left organisations’ demand, BCL president Rezwanul Haque Chowdhury Shovon said, “DU authority decides where the polling booths will be set up. Chhatra Dal is demanding this as they cannot win the DUCSU poll. They don’t have any relationship with the general students as most of their leaders have completed their academic life, long ago.”

BCL GS Golam Rabbani said that Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will decide who will vie for the DUCSU posts among the aspirants from BCL.