This is that time of the year when exam fever grips the University of Hyderabad following the excitement of the annual fest. But a dramatic development on Saturday is threatening to bring “election fever” to the fore and a possible war of popular posters.
The annual fest, Sukoon, is just three days away and preparations for the same have proved to be the proverbial last straw for the two ABVP members of the Students’ Union. Culture Secretary Gowri Priya and Sports Secretary Roshni Khyrun submitted their resignation to the Dean of the Students’ Welfare Prof BV Sharma alleging “harassment” by four other members of the union, all belonging to the SFI. This in short means there could be elections within the next 20 days as per the University Constitution.
Prof Sharma, who received their letters, told City Express it was not the way elected members of the Students’ Union should quit office. “The letters of resignation have to be submitted to the Students’ Union president, who should call for a University General Body Meeting before accepting their resignations,” he explained. So, will there be by-elections? “As of now, we cannot say much. We will go by what the constitution demands,” he replied.
The annual fest has a budget of ` 8 lakh and the two girls who resigned say that they don’t want to be answerable for the conduct of Sukoon since “they haven’t been taken into confidence by their colleagues.”
Hence, the resignations. But the tussle between the ABVP and the SFI is not a new one.
Citing “continued harassment and discrimination due to party politics” as the reason for her quiting the union, Roshni said, “it is more of a personal decision. It has been a divided union with four posts held by SFI and two by ABVP, leading to an extensive power struggle.” According to her, both herself and Gowri Priya were not consulted or informed during any of the union-organised events. “They always talk nicely but act rude. We had no active role to play since we are a minority in the union. They took care of everything,” she said, adding that “ultimately, we will have to answer to the students.” Gowri Priya, who resigned as culture secretary, termed the situation a “failure of democracy.”
“They took everything for granted just because we are a minority in the union. They did not show us the budget estimates or the bills showing expenditure,” she alleged.
She had many proposals for events which did not require students’ funds. “They just would not accept anything that we proposed. There were no developments even after bringing this issue to the notice of DSW. So, we want to resign and let the students know what happened,” she explained.
Amjad Basha, Students’ Union president, on the other hand, blamed the girls and alleged political motives behind their sudden resignation. “We had invited them to meetings many times. They would give random reasons and stay away. They are being politically used by their party,” he claimed. Defending himself and the SFI, Amjad said, “cultural and sports secretaries’ job is to promote sports and culture on the campus and not involve in financial affairs. The whole union discusses and decides such issues,” he pointed out. He asserted that Sukoon will not be affected by the resignations. ABVP spokesperson, Priyadarshi Joshi, also assured the students’ that Sukoon would go ahead as planned, but said, “if there is a need for by-elections, we will go ahead. Even if we win, it is not going to change anything.” According to him, the sudden move is intended to inform the students about the functioning of the students’ union.
Concerned about the developments, Sham Bharadwaj, SFI president, said, “their allegations of possible corruption are baseless. All accounts would be checked by the DSW’s office. This is only to tarnish the image of the SFI-led students’ union and part of a sympathy campaign.” He however, opined that by-elections at this stage with only a month left for the end semester exams would only trouble the students apart from wasting time and money.