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Poll process repeat for Dalkhola college

Calcutta, Jan. 27: Calcutta High Court today ordered a college in North Dinajpur’s Dalkhola to re-conduct the polling process, responding to a complaint filed by a student who alleged that Trinamul and Congress student activists did not let others file nominations.

The elections in Dalkhola Agrasen College were scheduled for tomorrow. According to the teacher in charge of the college, candidates had filed nominations for all 21 seats but each seat had only one nomination. Trinamul and Congress students’ bodies have said that their candidates had filed nominations but there was no confirmation on which party had filed for how many seats.

Today, Justice Ashok Das Adhikary said: “The principal will have to take necessary steps to hold the students’ body election afresh with fresh election process. From filing of nomination to declaration of results, the officer in charge of Dalkhola police will be present to maintain law and order.” The court did not set any election date.

Biswajit Biswas, the student of the Dalkhola college, had challenged the legality of the election process adopted by the principal.

Biswas’s counsel Kaushik Chanda told the court: “The principal had declared the students’ body election in the college and the last date for filing nomination was January 16. But the supporters of TMCP (Trinamul Chhatra Parishad) and CP (Chhatra Parishad of the Congress) followers did not allow any students to file nomination and filled up the forms of candidates of their choice.”

Chanda said the principal “announced that since there was no candidate against TMCP and CP, there was no need to hold the election and the TMCP and CP would jointly form the body”.

The advocate said the decision was “undemocratic” and “unconstitutional”.

In response, the high court said: “The willing students should get the opportunity to take part in the fray. No student has the right to curb the fundamental right of other students. The police should maintain law and order and see that every willing student should take part in election freely.”

Joyita Chatterjee, the teacher in charge, said she had received the court order and it would be placed before the governing body of the institution. She said there were 21 posts for the union and she had received single nominations for each of them. “All the positions were elected unopposed and we had put out a notice that the winning candidates would be issued certificates.”

On January 16, the last day for filing nominations, there was violence reported between the Trinamul and SFI, but Chatterjee today said “no incidents” of violence took place on the college premises.

Surajit Karmakar, SFI leader of Dalkhola, said the high court order was a welcome one. “We had been in control of the college union and the TMCP and the Chhatra Parishad resorted to undemocratic means to capture the college union,” he said.