Mixed reactions over DUCSU polls
Welcoming decision of announcement of the DUCSU election schedules, Dhaka University's former Vice Chancellor Prof Dr. AAMS Arefin Siddique told this correspondent that it was a common demand of the teachers and students for years to activate the DUCSU.
"Finally, the Dhaka University authority has taken initiatives to hold the DUCSU elections to activate the most important organisation of the students, which have played vital roles to restore the country's democracy. It could be fruitful initiative to fulfil the demands," he said while talking to this correspondent at Monday night.
Regarding the student's demands, he said, "So far I know, the authority had discussed on the issues with the students organisations several times. It's true that some issues are still remaining unresolved. If necessary, the authority must hold further discussions with the students."
"You must have to remember that cooperation from every corner is necessary to hold free, fair and acceptable elections. To ensure it, the
authority must have to talk with all student organisations and the authorities concern relevant with maintaining law and order," he added.
The former DU VC also claimed that the main obstacle to hold the election in last 29 years was psychological. Conflicts between the student organizations, especially the intra-party conflicts of the student bodies, were also major reasons of failure to hold the DUCSU polls.
"In this situation, it's a must to ensure co-existence of all student organisations to hold a acceptable election. All candidates must be given common scopes of hold rallies, meetings and campaigning. To ensure it, positive attitude from all corners is needed," he further added.
He also urged the DU authority to ensure voting rights and rights of candidature for the regular students only.
While talking to this correspondent last night, Dhaka University Chhatra League's General Secretary Saddam Hossain welcomed the DUCSU election schedule.
"The general students at Dhaka University are looking forward to an elected leadership. They want such student politicians who will be accountable to them and they want the kind of Dhaka University they dreamed of" he said in his immediate response to the schedule.
He said, "Since there is no logical platform to fulfil our demands, we welcome this election schedule as it respects the needs of the Dhaka University students. Not only Chhatra League, all pro-liberation student organisations welcomed the schedule."
Regarding their preparation, Saddam said that they are planning to contest the election in an inclusive manner together with students, cultural, social and non-political bodies that believe in the spirit of the Liberation War of 1971 and the country's independence.
Regarding BNP's students wing Jatiyabadi Chhatra Dal's threat to boycott the election, he said that most of the Chhatra Dal leaders are not student now. They have already lost their studentship. As a result, they don't want to contest the election. I believe that the real students of the party will contest the election."
While talking to this correspondent, General Secretary Bashar Siddiqui of Dhaka University Chhatra Dal, the student wing of BNP, demanded the election after ensuring a peaceful co-existence of various student units in the campus.
He said that they had placed a memorandum with the university authority to defer the election schedule.
However, the university authority has been 'working to make the student wing of the ruling party to win,' Bashar Siddiqui said after announcement of the schedule.
He said, "We have rejected this election schedule. We urged them to defer the election by submitting a memorandum and asking for dialogues. But they never listened to us. We told the authority to ensure the coexistence of the student units before the election. But they just announced the election schedule ignoring our demands."
"This proves that the authority has arranged it all to make the Chhatra League win the election," he said adding, "Chhatra League has captured all of the halls. It is clear that it will never be a fair election if the polling centers are in the halls."
They will decide whether to contest the election after discussions among the party leaders, he said.
While expressing his reaction of the election schedule, Bangladesh Chhatra Union General Secretary Liton Nandi told this correspondent that the authority announced the election schedule ignoring demands. The decision of the DU authority has led the situation to anxiety.
"On one hand, the announcement of election schedule brought pleasure among the students, but it also created 'anxiety' because of how the election would be conducted," he said, adding, "We had placed some specific demands to the authority. But they have arranged the election ignoring the demands and considering only the desires of one group."
"The decision creates doubt over the neutrality of the election and causes anxiety," he claimed.
He also claimed that they will continue taking preparation to contest the election along with giving pressure for their demands.