Amid discontent among the student wings of opposition parties, authorities on Monday announced that the elections to Dhaka University Central Students’ Union (DUCSU) and its hall units on March 11.
Prof SM Mahfuzur Rahman, chief returning officer of DUCSU polls, announced the polls schedule at a press briefing at Nawab Nabab Ali Chowdhury Senate Bhaban on DU campus.As per the schedule, the election to the DUCSU and hall units will be held on March 11 from 8am to 2pm without any break.
The students would be able to exercise their franchise at their respective hall voting centres by showing their ID cards.
In line with the constitution of DUCSU, the election will be held for 25 posts of DUCSU and 13 posts of each hall.
A draft voter list for the DUCSU polls was revealed on Monday on the notice boards of the halls and on the university website.
Complaints and correction requests regarding the voter list can be submitted in writing to the chief returning officers within February 18, and the final voter list will be published on February 20.
The 25 posts for DUCSU election are vice-president (VP), general secretary (GS), assistant general secretary (AGS), common room and cafeteria affairs secretary, liberation war and independent movement affairs secretary, literature affairs secretary, social service affairs secretary, library affairs secretary, sports affairs secretary, cultural affairs secretary, international affairs secretary, students’ transport affairs secretary and 13 executive members.The university vice chancellor is the ex-officio president of DUCSU while a DU teacher is nominated by the VC as the treasurer.
Meanwhile, the schedule for long-awaited DUCSU) drew mixed reaction among the university-based student organizations.
Although, the ruling Awami Leasague’s student wing, the Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL) welcomed the schedule, but the main opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP)-backed Jatiyatabadi Chhatra Dal (JCD) along with left-leaning students’ groups are unhappy.
The opposition student groups demands on how to hold polls were not heeded by the DUCSU election commission, making them unhappy about the voting.
They fear that the polls would not be free and fair as well as had the chances of incidents which could pollute the environment. They have threatened to launch a tough campaign to push home their demands unless the commission quickly heeded to their demands.
Their demands include setting up polling centres outside DU dormitories and ensuring an atmosphere of coexistence among students on the campus.
When asked, JCD DU unit president Al Mahdi Talukder told this correspondent, “We’ve rejected the DUCSU election schedule as it was announced, ignoring our all demands.”
“We’ll talk with the authorities concerned about the poll issues today. If they don’t heed our words, we will launch tougher movement,” he added.
Echoing the same warning, Bangladesh Chhatra Union (BSU) general secretary Liton Nandi said, “We’re very much concerned about a fair DUCSU election as the DU authorities refused to meet students’ demands.”
“We’ll continue our protest to realise our demands, especially for the setting up of polling stations outside DU halls,” he added.
Join convener of Bangladesh General Students Rights Protection Forum Nurul Haq Nur called upon the DU authorities to accept students’ demands and take the control of the campus from BCL in order to ensure a fair election.
He said they will express their solidarity with any student organisations if they wage movement on the campus demanding a fair DUCSU election.
BCL DU unit general secretary Saddam Hussein told the Daily Sun that the general students welcome the announcement of the DUSCU poll schedule. “We honour their desire.”