Campus Connect: Student unions unhappy over delay in SPPU student polls

The delay from the past three years, has irked students’ unions, especially after Education minister Vinod Tawde, earlier this month stated that the onus for elections lies upon them.

pune Updated: Nov 24, 2017 14:45 IST
Ananya Barua
Ananya Barua
Hindustan Times, Pune
abvp,sppu,senate polls
SPPU main building in Pune.(Sanket Wankhade/HT File Photo)

As the universities get a three-month extension to formulate a senate, management and other bodies by February 28, delay in the student election at Savitribai Phule Pune University (SPPU) has irked student associations of the university.

After the Maharashtra Public Universities Act 2016 paved the way for the SPPU to hold campus elections, lifting almost a two-decade ban after 1994, student unions had seen a silver lining.

But, the delay from the past three years, has irked students’ unions, especially after Education minister Vinod Tawde, earlier this month stated that the onus for elections lies upon them.

Condemning the statement, Akhil Bharatiya Vidhyarthi Parishad (ABVP) president Ram Satpute said, “Year after year, the government has been trying to fool the students with false promises of holding student elections, and it has become clear yet again this year.

“And by putting it on us and stating that it is our call, it is just one of their many fake promises. Despite our continuous demands to declare the dates for elections, no priority had been given to students and their political right to exercise polls. However, what may come, we still hold the stand that elections should be held this year.”

“The first meeting with Vinod Tawde, where it was discussed and decided that student unions will hold polls, was back in 2014, at the VC’s office.

“It was rather a positive vibe with all going forward to support student elections at SPPU. But that is now past, as three years have gone since and the situation is still the same.

“From 2015 to 2016 and now in 2017, it is again delayed. What we feel is that it is, in fact, a deliberate attempt to delay the elections year after year, especially by the BJP MLAs, because many fear that this could mean an overturn of the political party in the leading university, as has happened in colleges and universities of other states.

“The tide is against them, and maybe so under the pretext of senate elections, this year as well the student elections were not held,”Yuva Sena’s city head Kiran Sali rued.

Claiming this delay in polls to be a breach in the basic political right of students, Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNVS) president Kalpesh Yadav said,“Student polls are for the benefit of students as then their own representatives can reach out and form the bridge between them and the administration.

“But the political agendas of the government are aligned with senate elections, for which this was delayed. We still hold that elections should not wait till next year, and within 15 days, we will be holding a protest against the same near the vice-chancellor’s office.”

First Published: Nov 24, 2017 14:41 IST