Congress-backed candidates shared honours with Biju Janata Dal (BJD)-backed candidates following the students’ union elections in major colleges across Bhubaneswar.
Both the BJD and Congress backed candidates were going neck and neck as the results for the students’ union elections were declared on Friday after a brisk day of polling. Initial reports said the posts of presidents were bagged by Congress and BJD backed candidates in at least four colleges here.
In BJB Autonomous College, Sibabrata Nayak was elected president. Pallabi Mohapatra bagged the top post in Rama Devi Women’s College. Dinesh Kumar Sahoo and Sanjib Parida were elected presidents in Rajdhani College and Maharshi College of Natural Law, respectively.
Jyoti Ranjan Ojha was elected president in Basic Science and Humanities College. Prasanna Martha in Capital Law College, Chandrashekhar Sahoo in Ekamra College and Suranjita Mohanty in City Women’s College were elected presidents of their respective students’ unions.
Earlier in the day, high drama prevailed in RD Women’s College after the results were declared. Defeated candidate Rajashree Rajasmita Bhanja claimed that the counting of votes was manipulated. The agitated supporters of the losing candidate launched a protest against the college authorities. “They (college authorities) have been partial towards a particular candidate,” Rajashree alleged. There was, however, no untoward incident in the college due to the presence of police.“No partiality was shown by the college authorities. The agents of the two candidates were present during the counting. The accusations should be backed by evidence,” RD Women’s College Principal Sanghamitra Khuntia said.
The aggrieved students gave a written complaint to the authorities stating their grievances and have threatened to call a strike if no action is taken.
The Principal of the college said there is a provision for declaring the election null and void if the situation worsens.
Meanwhile, the elected students made their priorities clear the moment they were declared winners.
Sibabrata, who won the president’s post in BJB College by a margin of about 250 votes, said his priority will be to take up the problem of vacant lecturers’ posts. “I will then focus on setting up of a canteen in science block,” added Sibabrata, who was overwhelmed by the celebrations following his victory.
Much to the happiness of many, visually challenged student Rajiv Lochan Sahoo won the vice-president’s post in BJB College.
In Maharshi College of Natural Law, polls were held after a gap of two years. The turnout was an impressive 70 per cent.
Clashes between the supporters of winning and losing candidates were reported in Kamala Nehru Women’s College.