The DUCSU election fever has gripped the entire campus as all necessary initiatives have been taken to this end.
Finally, the long wait is going to be over as Dhaka University Central Students Union (DUCSU) polls is expected to be held in March. Therefore, the election preparations are going in full swing.
The ideal student-organisation that produced dozens of national leaders earlier has not been seeing its body for last 28 years for not having election.
The university authorities have already prepared the voter list keeping all the running undergraduate and graduate (Masters) level students as voters.
Besides, Vice-Chancellor Professor Dr Akhtaruzzam made a five-member committee, led by former Chairman of Human Rights Commission and Professor at Law faculty Dr Mizanur Rahman to revise DUCSU constitution, if necessary, as the authorities believe the existing constitution is outworn.
“The DUCSU constitution was amended in 1998 for the last time and there was no election in 22 years,” the committee’s convener and Professor Mizanur Rahman”, said adding that they think the existing constitution is totally back-dated and needs amendment for making it time-befitting.
“Today (Thursday) we sat with student organisations, who are stakeholders, and listened to their opinions over the constitution’s amendment,” he added.
However, active student organisations can place their recommendations in written format before the committee till next Monday, as the organisations were not fully prepared for giving impromptu recommendations, he informed.
Apart from the convener, committee member Professor ASM Maksud Kamal, Professor Rahmat Ullah, Professor Supriya Saha and Dr Zeenat Huda were also present at the meeting.
The university administration sat with the students organisations earlier on September 16, 2018 to discuss on DUCSU polls and got their opinions.
However, a total number of 13 student wings of country’s political organisations, including Chhatra League, the eight leftist parties, Chattra Dal and others took part in the discussion held on Thursday and raised their demands, insiders said.
Dhaka University Chhatra League President Sanjit Chandra Das, and General Secretary Saddam Hussain, Chhatra Dal President Mehedi Talukdar and Secretary General Abul Bashar Siddiqi, Chattrafront President Salman Siddiqi and General Secretary Toma Bormon, Chhatra Federation President Umme Habiba Benjir spoke on behalf of their respective organisations.
University unit president Chhatra Legue Sanjit Chandra Das, said “We want DUCSU polls as early as possible. We are waiting for the announcement of the polls schedule.”
“We believe the university authorities will take all the initiatives to hold a free, fair election within March,” he added.
Besides, Chhatra League demanded that the authorities increase the number of secretariats, women representatives and create separate secretary in DUCSU body based on university’s different issues, he said after the Thursday’s meeting.
Regarding the election commission, they recommended making extra five executive members along with the chief election commissioner for a fair election, he informed.
On the other hand, progressive student Alliance asked the university authorities to set election booths in open places instead of university halls as there is no political coexistence on the campus and the authorities are not able to set a level-playing field during the election, they said in a press conference after the meeting.
Almost 60 per cent of the total students of DU are non-resident. The non-resident students wouldn’t feel comfort if the election is held only in the halls, they added.
On the other hand, Chhatra Dal General Secretary Abul Bashar Siddique expressed their hope to attend the polls saying, “We will participate in the polls if the university authorities ensure political coexistence. “
However, Vice-Chancellor Professor Dr Akhtaruzzaman believes that currently a nice atmosphere exists on the campus for the DUCSU polls.
“Provosts’ committee informed me that political coexistence exists in every hall,” he said.
However, Vice-Chancellor assured of the DUCSU polls within March 31, 2019 saying that they are working hard and passing busy times for holding the polls.
However, the university authority assured of holding DUCSU polls for several times earlier, but it did not come to light yet for long 28 years.
Meanwhile, on January last year, the High Court issued a ruling to the university authorities to organise an election for DUCSU within next six months.
The court said in its observation that, the students were deprived of their democratic rights as DUCSU polls have not been held for years.
But the university authorities could not hold the election during the timeframe set by the HC. After passing of the period, the petitioner Advocate Manzil Murshid served a legal notice, claiming contempt of court, to DU authorities.