Around six years ago, chief minister Nitish Kumar gave the woman-empowerment call by reserving 50 per cent seats for them in panchayat elections. Riding on the promise, Nitish returned to power with a thumping majority.
Women empowerment, the success mantra of Nitish, is now being adopted at Patna University Students’ Union elections, as many organisations, which are backing the candidates, have decided to field women for five key posts at the university-level.
The All India Students’ Association (AISA) is backing two women for as many posts. AISA is backing Divya Gautam, a journalism student in Patna College, as its presidential candidate. For the post of secretary, the party is supporting Sugandh Priya Ojha, a BBA student of Patna Women’s College. On Thursday, the AISA released its list of candidates for the five key posts. The nomination process will start on Friday.
Ojha, who joined AISA a few months ago, said: “We won in Jawaharlal Nehru University and Allahabad University students’ union elections and the results would be repeated in Patna University as well.”
On women empowerment, the Patna Women’s College student said her top priority would be to make a conducive environment for studies at the university and ensure strict action against those involved in eve-teasing. All India Students’ Federation (AISF), too, released its candidates’ names on Thursday. The party is backing two women candidates — Anshu Kumari for the post of general secretary and Shivi, a philosophy student at Patna Women’s College, for the post of secretary.
Usha Kiran, another presidential candidate backed by All India Backward Students’ Forum (AIBSF), said: “Ensuring security to girls would be my top priority if I win the elections. Apart from Patna Women’s College, no other institution under Patna University has security arrangements for the girls.”
Apart from the security aspect, Kiran would raise the issue of facility upgrade in the colleges, which include renovation of girls’ common rooms and construction of more washrooms.
Awdesh Lalu, a member of AIBSF, said the idea behind backing women candidates for the key posts is that they can raise the students’ issue without hampering the academic atmosphere in colleges.
On empowerment, Lalu said: “When the entire country is talking about women power, how could students of Patna University lag behind?”
The Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP), a cadre-based party having members in all colleges and departments, has also promised to back at least two women candidates. “We will release a list of candidates’ names on Friday. We will support two women candidates out of the five key posts,” said Pappu Verma, the convener of ABVP.
Patna University on Thursday issued a notification for the December 11 election. U.K. Sinha, the chairman of Patna University election committee, said: “According to the university notification, all students of Patna University studying in more than one-year course, are entitled to cast their votes.”
The notification stated that a booth would be created for 300 students at the college-level.