The Trinamul Congress’s student wing didn’t find a single candidate to field in the Presidency University union election due next month.
Thursday was the last date for nominations to the 109 seats at stake in the March 1 election and the only last-minute surprise that could have come from the Trinamul Congress Chhatra Parishad was a face-saving alliance against the rival Students’ Federation of India (SFI).
Trinamul denied that any such tie-up was even contemplated but sources said Shanku Deb Panda, the state president of the party’s student wing, did call up leaders of the Independent Consolidation with a proposal to stitch up an alliance.
“Panda called the very next day after the election date was announced on January 30,” a leader of the Independent Consolidation said. “We rejected the proposal straightaway.”
Panda contested the claim on Friday, saying his group had voluntarily opted out of the Presidency election because the process was “illegal”.
“We aren’t interested in fighting an election at Presidency now, so where did the question of an alliance come from? The authorities announced the election without drafting the statute of the university. A union election can’t be held under interim rule,” he told Metro.
Debarshi Chakrabarty of Independent Consolidation too claimed that Trinamul was never in the picture for an alliance and nobody from the party’s student wing made any such proposal either. The official denial apparently came for an entirely different reason than Trinamul’s.
A colleague of Chakrabarty said on condition of anonymity that the Trinamul student wing’s alleged reputation for trouble nixed the possibility of an alliance. “From beating up principals to unleashing goons from outside, they have done everything to stamp their authority on campuses. Harimohan Ghose College in Garden Reach is a case in point. We couldn’t have risked being seen as a potential ally,” he said.
Police officer Tapas Chowdhury was fatally shot outside Harimohan Ghose College in Garden Reach last Tuesday in a melee triggered by the involvement of outsiders in campus elections.
At Presidency, the Trinamul Congress Chhatra Parishad’s failure to find candidates for the March 1 popularity test is seen as the outcome of its aggressive ways since contesting an election on the College Street campus for the first time in 2010. It won three seats in that poll and ate into Independent Council’s vote bank, which helped the SFI’s cause in what turned out to be a close fight.