The schedule for long-awaited central Student Union election of Dhaka University (DUCSU) has created mixed reaction among student organizations active at the university.
Though Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL), student wing of the ruling party, welcomed the schedule while pro-BNP student organization Jatiyatabadi Chhatra Dal (JCD) accompanied by left-leaning students' bodies and the quota reformists were disgruntled with the announcement.
They demanded to set up polling centers outside the dormitories as well as co-existence of all student bodies on the campus before the announcement of the schedule. But authority is yet to ensure such congenial environment for holding a participatory and fair election.
Moreover, authority on Monday announced the polls schedule mentioning halls as polling centers and asked students to cast their votes in respective dorms showing valid identification card.As a result, all students bodies expect BCL have warned the authority to go for tougher movement if the authorities do not change their decision.
Soon after the announcement of the schedule, progressive student alliance staged a demonstration demanding the polls in a democratic environment free from terrorism. Meantime, welcoming the schedule BCL also brought out a procession at the campus.Chief returning officer of the DUCSU polls Prof SM Mahfuzur Rahman declared the schedule at Nawab Ali Chowdhury Senate Bhaban auditorium on Monday morning.
JCD DU unit president Al Mahdi Talukder told the correspondent, "We rejected the schedule as the authorities announced it ignoring our demands. We will talk with them on this issue Tuesday. If they do not heed to our demands, we will go for stricter movement".
Bangladesh Chhatra Union (BSU) general Secretary Liton Nandi echoed same words saying "We are very much anxious about a fair election. There have raised many questions over fair election as authorities utterly refused students demands".
"We will continue our protest for meeting our demands of setting polling stations outside the hall", he added. Joint Convener of Bangladesh General Student's Right Protection Forum Nurul Haq Nur called upon the authorities to accept students' demands immediately and take over the control of campus from BCL hand in order to ensure fair election.
He said, they will express their solidarity with any students' bodies to wage movement on varsity campus in this regard. In contrast, welcoming the schedule, BCL DU unit General Secretary Saddam Hussein said, "We welcome the polls schedule as the students want to exercise their franchise."
According to the schedule, Nomination paper will be distributed between February 19 and 25 and the deadline of submitting nomination papers is fixed on February 26. The scrutiny process of the nomination papers by the returning officers would be done by February 26. The primary list of candidates will be published on February 27.
The deadline for withdrawing nominations is fixed on March 2 and the final list of candidates contesting in the polls will be published on March 3. Voting will take place in order to fill 25 important positions on March 11 from 8am to 2pm, and results will be announced the same day.
A draft voter list for the DUCSU polls was revealed yesterday on the notice boards of the respective halls and on the university website. Complaints and correction requests for the voter list can be submitted in written to the chief returning officers within February 18, and the final voter list will be published on February 20.
---Mohiuddin Mahi, AA
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