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Trinamul wins college election

The Trinamul Chhatra Parishad (TMCP) won the student union election at Harimohan Ghose College in Garden Reach, taking 31 of the 32 seats uncontested.

The college made headlines last February when Calcutta police sub-inspector Tapas Chowdhury was shot dead in a turf war between Trinamul and Congress leaders over filing of poll nomination.

The college authorities on Monday said the TMCP won this year’s polls as scrutiny of the forms revealed that the Congress’s Chhatra Parishad, the rival outfit, did not submit any nomination. Of the 32 seats, nomination for one was cancelled because of the candidate’s academic arrears, teacher-in-charge Bijay Acharya said.

The Chhatra Parishad cried foul, alleging that they could not submit 22 nomination forms because TMCP supporters intimidated them. The Congress’s student wing has threatened to move court for cancellation of the election.

“When our supporters were on their way to the college to file nomination on January 9, the Trinamul supporters snatched the forms. They had snatched our nomination forms on the college premises on January 3 too (when the forms were distributed). The college authorities and police didn’t intervene,” said Muhammad Azharuddin, the president of the college’s Chhatra Parishad unit.

Trinamul supporters denied the allegations. They said the Chhatra Parishad lost because they did not have the organisation to put up candidates.

The college authorities too denied the charges. “We had received a complaint from a girl about forms being snatched inside the college on the day nomination forms were distributed. We as well as the police probed and found the complaint baseless,” said Acharya.

Last year, supporters of the two organisations were accused of engaging party musclemen in the run-up to the election. Mohammad Iqbal (Munna), the former Trinamul chairman of borough XV, and Congress leader Sheikh Moktar had allegedly thrown in their weight behind their party candidates.

The police didn’t allow a rerun of last year. They deployed more than 100 armed personnel and installed CCTV cameras on the campus.