Students' elections of the year postponed in Mumbai University

Updated: Aug 08, 2019, 07:42 IST | Pallavi Smart

State government's decision evokes strong reactions; union leaders dub move a political one

Students' elections of the year postponed in Mumbai University
University of Mumbai. Representation pic/Getty Images

The state government's decision to postpone the university students' council elections, which was to be held almost after two decades, has not gone down well with the student union leaders. The reason stated for the decision, taken during a Cabinet meeting on Wednesday, is that if a second election was conducted during the Assembly polls, it might lead to a law and order situation. However, the decision has evoked strong reactions from student union members, who say the move was a political one.

With about two weeks left for the students' council elections, members had already started creating awareness and identifying candidates among all. But according to student leaders, the government's decision made all the efforts redundant. Even BJP's own students' wing, the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) has expressed disappointment over the decision.

Speaking to mid-day, Regional Head of ABVP, Aniket Ovhal, said, "Student elections were making a come-back almost after two decades. Already it took so many years for the elections to re-start and bringing them back has been a huge struggle. But this postponement has only led to disappointment. Looks like the government doesn't want to conduct the elections."

While ABVP is complaining how their efforts have gone to waste, there are speculations that since no specific date has been fixed for the elections, in all probability they would be held in the next academic year. "The students' election regulations clearly state that the council should be ready by the end of September, but as the Assembly elections will go on till October, it's unlikely our polls will be held this year," said Sachin Bansode, state coordinator for Chatrabharati Vidyarthi Sanghatna.

He further said, "There is a political motive behind it. The government is worried that if the students' elections results don't turn out to be in their favour, then it will reflect badly on the Assembly polls. More so, Yuva Sena and ABVP are planning to have their own candidates in the students' elections. These unions are essentially student wings of Shiv Sena and BJP. We hope at least it will be held next year."

Mumbai President of NCP's students' wing, Amol Matele, said, "It seems the BJP government is scared of the ballot box process. If the result is not in their favour, then it might have a negative affect on the Assembly elections. The law and order reason is nothing but an excuse. The students' elections has strict regulations in terms of a specially designed code of conduct, hence there are no chances of having a law and order situation."

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