Electioneering in Dhaka University Central Students Union polls, scheduled for March 11, has gained momentum with the contestants trying their best to reach out to the current students with promises to address their problems.
The contestants with panel-based or individual manifestos are wooing the students saying that, if elected, they will address vital issues like students’ limited access to dormitories, substandard meal services and insufficient budget for research.
Some have come up with a number of innovative ideas about bringing out potentials of students.
Anthropology student Mazharul Kabir Shaion, a Bangladesh Chhatra League-nominated contestant for DUCSU literary secretary post, told New Age on Tuesday that he would make literature-based publications, both in book format and wallpaper, regularly to provide the emerging writers with a strong platform.
‘If elected, I will organise international literary conference, debaters’ convention and DU book fair. I will also initiate joint venture with private publishers to facilitate publication of new titles authored by DU students,’ Mazharul promised.
Sanjida Bari, an international relations student and an award winner of inter-college Literary Olympiad, is also contesting for literary secretary post.
The Chhatra Maitree-nominated contestant observed that most of the DU students were focusing more on success in the civil service recruitment exams, rather than cultivating creative potentials.
She said that she, if elected, would facilitate regular publication of literary magazines so that DU-based writers and poets could contribute to literature.
She said that students from ethnic minority communities would be brought under her coverage so that they could exercise literary activism in their mother tongues.
Another Chhatra Maitree-nominated contestant for science and technology secretary post Arafat Rahman said he, if elected, would facilitate the differently able students lacking suitable tools for their research works.
Arafat, a student of soil, water and environment science, said that he would promote innovations by the DU students.
He would also initiate regular publication of science-based magazine as well as hosting science and technology related international conference where world-renowned scholars would be invited.
Pragatishil Chhatra Oikya-nominated contestant for the post of science and technology secretary Wulul Amor Talukdar said that DU students were facing shortage of laboratory equipment which hampered proper research.
‘For lack of research, DU students fail to get international recognition. DU administration seems reluctant to properly equip the laboratories. If I am elected, I will address the problems,’ Wulul said.
Chhatra Mukti Jote-nominated contestant for science and technology secretary post Sakhil Chandra Das said he, if elected, would initiate distribution of smart identification card among the DU students to check outsiders’ entry into libraries.
He said that students would be able to access free internet facilities using the smart card.
A total of 229 candidates are contesting for 25 posts in DUCSU where 21 candidates are vying for the vice-president post, 14 for general secretary and 13 for assistant general secretary post.
In the polls, 11 students are contesting for liberation war affairs secretary, 9 for science and technology affairs secretary, 9 common room and cafeteria secretary, 13 for international affairs secretary, eight for literature secretary, 11 for sports secretary post, 12 candidates would contest for the position of cultural secretary, 10 for student transport secretary, 15 for social welfare secretary and 88 for the position of members.
Meanwhile, 36 candidates including 3 assistance general secretaries won in the hall unions polls of 18 dormitories of the university uncontested, said chief returning officer SM Mahfuzur Rahman.
Aspirants of different student bodies were seen distributing leaflets and putting up posters to drum up support in favour of them across the campus while allegations were brought against almost all student bodies of violating electoral code of conduct.
BCL backed candidates have pasted posters on walls also non-students and outsiders were seen in their electoral processions while left alliance brought out a procession with musical instrument, also a violation of electoral code of conduct.
According to the electoral code of conduct of DUCSU constitution, pasting any kind of posters and leaflets is strongly prohibited. It also imposes restrictions on using colour-posters.
Chief returning officer SM Mahfuzur Rahman said if any candidates violated electoral code of conduct, the university proctor’s team would take necessary steps against them.
Beside on-the-ground campaigns, social media platform Facebook is also abuzz with electioneering.
Almost all candidates are running election campaigns through digital and online channels, highlighting their pledge.
Candidates from Bangladesh Chhatra League panel have continued their election campaign.
They also held projection meetings at Bijoy Ekattor Hall, Bangabandhu Hall and Ziaur Rahman, Kabi Jasim Uddin Halls, Master Da Surjosen Hall and Hazi Muhammad Mohsin of the university introducing their hall panel to the resident students.
BNP-backed Jatiyatabadi Chhatra Dal panel, candidates from quota-reform movement, Progressive Students Unity, independent candidates are also continuing their campaign.
Independent candidates for GS post ARM Asifur Rahman, Bangladesh Chhatra Federation-backed Umme Habiba Benojir and independent alliance panel members sought votes distributing leaflets.
Chhatra League assistant general secretary candidate Saddam Hossain said he got good feedbacks.
Chhatra Dal VP candidate Mustafizur Rahman said that they kicked off their campaign but the university authorities had to ensure congenial political atmosphere inside and outside dormitories.
Left leaning VP candidate Liton Nandi said they began their formal campaign by placing wreaths at Raju sculpture.
Nurul Huq Nur, VP candidate from quota reform movement, said, ‘We have launched our campaign and talked to the students.’
The DUCSU polls did not take place in 28 years, the reason of which is largely attributed to the indifference of the successive university administrations and governments.
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