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Madhya Pradesh Likely to See Direct Student Union Elections after 32 Years

Student union polls were last held in the state in 1987. Afterwards, they were either carried out through indirect elections or were cancelled fearing violence in education campuses.

Vivek Trivedi | News18.com

Updated:August 29, 2019, 9:27 PM IST
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Madhya Pradesh Likely to See Direct Student Union Elections after 32 Years
Representative image of NSUI workers. (File Image: PTI)
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Bhopal: After a gap of almost 32 years, Madhya Pradesh could witness student union polls though direct elections in September.

According to sources, the Department of Higher Education has prepared a draft for the direct student elections, which will be presented for Chief Minister Kamal Nath's approval soon.

State Higher Education minister Jitu Patwari on Wednesday told a news channel that the state government opined students should elect their own representatives. Patwari had made it clear that the students would elect their own leaders through direct election process.

He, however, did not specify a schedule for the elections, only saying the polls would be held soon.

A youth leader of the Congress claimed that a draft proposal for the polls is being created with an aim to nurture a youthful leadership. The draft plan has reportedly vested greater powers in elected university representatives in order to let them contribute to the society and politics in general alongside elected representatives like MLAs and MPs.

Student union polls were last held in the state in 1987. Afterwards, they were either carried out through indirect elections or were cancelled fearing violence in education campuses. The Congress-backed National Student Union of India (NSUI) and the RSS-backed Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) have frequently called for direct polls.

Direct elections were discontinued on campus after clashes took place among student groups. The elections resumed in 2005, but on the basis of academic merit only. The last student elections were held in colleges in 2011-12.

But the process resumed in 2017 when NSUI and ABVP won several seats in different regions. For the first time, AAP’s youth wing Chhatra Yuva Sangharsh Samiti (CYSS) had also secured wins. Student polls last year were called off due to Assembly elections in the state.

A significant blot on the student polls in the state came in 2006 when Professor HS Sabharwal of Ujjain’s Madhav College was beaten up by suspected student leaders. He died later. But six ABVP workers who were accused of causing his death were acquitted by a court in 2009.

NSUI state spokesperson Vivek Tripathi told News 18 they had recently met the higher education minister, who assured them of early student polls. “We are concerned about young leadership not getting proper chances and are hopeful that the state government takes an early call on direct polls as specified by the Lyngdoh committee," he said.

ABVP national executive member Ankit Garg also claimed that direct polls should be held at the earliest. “We haven’t met the higher education minister but we have heard about his statement on direct polls, which is a good step for students,” said Garg.

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