HYDERABAD: The election fever has gone up a few notches on the University of Hyderabad campus here with the student union elections slated to be held on October 8. Votes will be counted on October 9.
The elections are being conducted to the posts of president, vice-president, general secretary and others following Lyngdoh Committee recommendations. “An election committee comprising faculty members will monitor the elections,” said Prakash Babu, dean of students’ welfare.
Apart from the perennial problems that bother students such as hostel facilities, issues which became controversial at the national level have become mooting points among students supporting groups which match their ideology.
Beef-eating and protest against Yakub Memon’s hanging are among a few issues which are dominating the debates on the campus which has a strength of close to 5,000 students of Integrated, Masters,
M.Phil and PhD courses.
With individual students and groups vying for coveted posts, the annual election resembles nothing less than a mini-general election and generates heat and is keenly fought.
To woo potential supporters, the groups pitch their promises to students visiting mess halls. Posters and banners of candidates in fray dot every nook and corner of the campus. While online campaigning has become the latest trend, students are taking to memes to direct their criticism against rival candidates and groups. Issues are debated at length on Facebook forum. Graffiti on hostel walls and room doors can also be seen.
Students Federation of India (SFI), Tribal Students Forum (TSF), Dalit Students Union (DSU), Telangana Vidyarthi Vedika (TVV), Akhil Bharatiya Vidhyarthi Parishad (ABVP), Ambedkar Students’ Association (ASA), Other Backward Classes Association (OBCA), National Students’ Union of India (NSUI), Bahujan Students’ Front (BSF) are the major unions.
The SFI, TSF, DSU and TVV formed an alliance while ASA, NSUI, OBCA and some other groups have formed United Democratic Alliance (UDA). ABVP is going it alone. SFI-DSU-TSF-TVV alliance’s presidential candidate KP Zuhail said that one of their demands was inclusion of student union members in various bodies of administration such as OBC Cell.
“The UGC issued Safety Guidelines which intrudes on the privacy of students. We stand against the guidelines,” he said.