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Clause change breather with rider
Eligibility criteria relief for many

A confusion regarding Lyngdoh Committee recommendations marred the first day of the nomination process of Patna University students’ election.

On Friday, the election committee of the varsity removed the “FIR charge” clause that barred many students from contesting the poll. According to an earlier notification of the election committee, candidates facing criminal charges, including FIR lodged in his/her name, were barred from contesting the poll.

U.K. Sinha, the chairman of the election committee, admitted the error in fixing the eligibility criteria on the part of the university administration.

“According to the Lyngdoh Committee recommendation, an FIR lodged in his/her name cannot debar a student from contesting the election. However, if a student has been convicted or is facing trial, he/she cannot contest the election.”

The recommendation stated: “The candidate should not have a criminal record, i.e., he/she should not have been tried and/or convicted of any criminal offence or misdemeanour. The candidate should not have been subjected to any disciplinary action by the university authorities.”

Because of the change in the eligibility criteria, many students’ organisations that were supposed to release the names of the candidates they are backing for the poll, postponed the plans at the last minute on Friday.

According to sources, the reason behind the lukewarm response for filling nomination papers on the first day was that most students’ bodies have not yet finalised the names of the candidates they would support for the election.

The students’ wing of the RJD and the JD(U) have not released the names of the candidates. NSUI also falls in the club.

However, Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) released its list of candidates late Friday. The ABVP is backing Ashish Sinha as its presidential candidate.

Sinha, a second-year LLB student at Patna Law College is son of Arun Kumar Sinha, the BJP MLA from Kumhrar Assembly constituency in Patna.

On the first day, till around 2.30pm, no candidate reached the administrative office to file his/her nomination papers. The slot for filling the nomination paper was between 10am and 3pm.

Around 2.40pm, members of All India Democratic Students’ Organisation (AIDSO) reached the office to file the nomination papers. Backed by AIDSO, Ram Kumar Singh, a postgraduate geography student, filed the nomination for the post of executive member from the social science faculty.

“We have been raising issues related to students’ welfare time and again. This election, our agenda is improving the academic infrastructure of the university,” he said.

Minutes after the AIDSO-backed candidates filed the nomination papers, those of the Left-affiliated students’ wing, All India Students’ Federation (AISF) filed the papers. Around 50 students supported by the AISF reached the campus raising slogans: “Up up socialism, down down capitalism.”

The AISF is supporting Nikhil Kumar Jha, a second-year LLB student from Patna Law College, for the presidential post.

“The AISF is one of the oldest students’ organisations in the country. Time and again we have raised issues that have been bothering the students. We want to improve the academic atmosphere of the university. This includes library upgrade. The varsity’s central library is one of the oldest libraries in Bihar but it is crying for attention. We will demand for purchase of new books and journals,” Jha said.

On the first day of the nomination filing process, four candidates submitted paper.