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Views clash on varsity stage

The welfare of students is their priority but the winners of the Patna University Students’ Union (Pusu) election cannot seem to go past their differences.

The 24 elected members, who fought in the Pusu elections backed by different students’ organisations, took oath at Wheeler Senate Hall on Wednesday. Slogans filled the hall as supporters from the different students’ organisations showed off their strength and protested against the university’s alleged failure to conduct free and fair elections.

Members of All India Students’ Federation (AISF) also shouted slogans against university proctor Kriteshwar Prasad for allegedly favou- ring candidates.

If attacking the university officials were not enough, the organisation members shouted slogans in favour of their own candidate whenever elected members from other organisations took oath.

Pusu president Ashish Sinha, the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP)-backed candidate, was the first person to take oath. As soon as he went on the dais, members of the AISF shouted slogans in support of their candidates and stopped only when the varsity officials intervened.

The scene was repeated when AISF-backed mem- bers Anshu Kumari and Anshuman Singh went to take oath. Members of the ABVP and students’ wings of the JD(U) and the RJD started to raise slogans in support of the candidates.

Although the Pusu members claimed that the interests of the students would be their priority, varsity sources said the year would be far from smooth. The five-member Pusu central panel has candidates with ideological differences.

AISF-backed candidates are in the majority in the union with two members in the central panel and six executive members. Sources said the AISF would try to exercise supremacy in decisions, leaving the other members fuming.

A senior teacher of the university said: “The functioning of the union will be affected on two grounds. First, the tenure of Pusu will be less than a year — it will be dissolved in April. Second, much of the time would be spent in learning the nitty-gritty of Pusu.”

Vice-chancellor (VC) Shambhu Nath Singh also seemed to address the differences of the organisations when he said: “The university will entertain only such demands of the elected members which are collective in nature. No individual demands will be entertained.”

The president, Ashish Sinha, said: “Though the Pusu members are candidates backed by different students’ organisations, all of them have the same agenda — to work for the students’ interest and we will collectively fight for the cause of the students.”

He added that a meeting of the Pusu members has been scheduled for Thursday, where issues related to students’ welfare would be discussed. The VC would also hold a review meeting of the members on the first week of every month.