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Campus poll code delayed

It’s election season in colleges once again even as the Mamata Banerjee government sits on recommendations to implement a uniform poll code to curb campus violence.

Although students’ elections are usually held between November and January, the process begins in September- end or early October every year.

A senior official of Calcutta University said if the government delays implementing the revised rules, the university as well as its affiliated colleges will have to conduct the polls according to the old system.

“We hope we will be able to announce our decision on revising the rules shortly,” said a senior official in the higher education department.

The West Bengal State Council for Higher Education, entrusted with drawing up guidelines for a revised election process, submitted the final draft in July.

The government wanted to do away with the system of outgoing students’ unions having a major say in the poll process, but both the SFI and the Trinamul Chhatra Parishad are opposed to the recommendations (see box), sources said.

Calcutta High Court had ruled that the chief electoral officer of the state should conduct students’ polls. CU had, accordingly, asked all colleges to seek its permission before starting poll preparations.

But in a fresh ruling on Thursday, the court held that the state CEO was not the appropriate authority to conduct students’ union elections in colleges. “Colleges can now start the process without informing us,” said a CU official.