ABVP, TMC clash over college student council elections
TMCP supporters allegedly hurled bombs and pointed guns at the ABVP candidates as they tried to file nomination papers in several colleges. At the end of the day over 20 ABVP supporters were injured in separate incidents. Last year ABVP had contested in about 80 colleges across and this year they planned to take it to 300.Updated: Jan 03, 2015, 15:09 IST
Bengal became the theatre of clashes between Trinamool Chhatra Parishad and Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad supporters as the former allegedly tried to prevent the latter from filing nominations in different colleges in Bankura, Birbhum and Burdwan on Friday.
TMCP supporters allegedly hurled bombs and pointed guns at the ABVP candidates as they tried to file nomination papers in several colleges. At the end of the day over 20 ABVP supporters were injured in separate incidents. Last year ABVP had contested in about 80 colleges across and this year they planned to take it to 300.
ABVP is riding the rising popularity of BJP that recorded vote share rising from a mere 6% in 2009 to 17% in 2014. ABVP is hopeful that this January they would be able to make significant mark in the students’ council election in colleges and universities across the state.
On December 22, ABVP registered its first victory at Lalpur College, Purulia, thereby opening its account in Bengal.
On January 2, in Kalna College, Burdwan 10 students were injured in the clash; most of them belonged to ABVP. A college in Birbhum district was in the eye of a storm as the TMCP supporters fired five rounds to stop a bus carrying ABVP candidates headed for filing nomination at Khoyrashol Shoilojanondo Falguni Mahavidyala. ABVP members could not file their nominations.
A bomb was hurled at ABVP supporters trying to file nominations at Hetampur Krishnachandra Mahavidyalaya.
In Bankura district as ABVP tried to enter Bankura Shommiloni College and file nomination they were blocked by TMCP supporters. ABVP supporters blocked Bhoirob Sthan crossing, where they were attacked by TMCP supporters . After meeting resistance from TMCP while trying to file nomination papers at Amarkanon Desh Bondhu College in Bankura, ABVP supporters blocked NH 60. At Andal Mahavidyala too it was the same story.
At Illambazar Joydeb Mahavidayalay of the ABVP succeeded in filing his nomination after being given police protection.
Reacting to the chain of incidents across three districts, education minister Partha Chatterjee said, “Those who are not being able to take the plunge for their own organisational shortcomings are saying that they are claiming to have been victimised and are going to the media for being photographed.”
Interestingly only two months back Chatterjee urged TMCP leaders to allow representatives from students’ wing of other parties to file nomination and ensure that they win through contests. Last year TMCP won uncontested in over 94% colleges in Bengal.
However, Pranab Debnath, office secretary of ABVP, West Bengal, pointed out the reason for Chatterjee’s sudden U-turn. “TMCP understood that they would lose wherever ABVP would file nomination. Hence they are trying to block us at every step. At Kalna College 20 of our supporters were injured. TMCP supporters are not only hurling bombs and pointing guns at the candidates, but also trying to intimidate their family members,” said Debnath.
He said they will meet the governor and education minister and seek redress. “If nothing works we will lodge a huge protest all over the state,” Debnath said.
In 2014 several protest demonstration by TMCP became the cause of embarrassment for the ruling party. On August 26, after being harassed by the TMCP for not allowing students to cheat, the principal of Chapra Bangaljhi Mahavidyalaya, a college in Nadia resigned.
Though the education minister said mass cheating will not be tolerated, and requested the principal to withdraw his resignation, the principal Krishna Gopal Roy was not convinced.