Heads of premier educational institutions are focused on exercising their franchise this Lok Sabha elections.
Most of them have taken out time from their busy schedule to visit their native places on or before the polling dates. Some would even travel 850km to cast their votes.
Indian Institute of Technology (IIT)-Patna director A.K. Bhowmick, who is enlisted at Kharagpur in Midnapore parliamentary segment, has planned to visit the town before the May 7 election.
The constituency once held by veteran Communist parliamentarian and former Union home minister Indrajit Gupta is witnessing a pitched battle between Trinamul Congress (TMC) candidate and Bengali film actress Sandhya Roy and CPI sitting MP Prabodh Panda. Also in the fray is BJP’s Prabhakar Tiwari.
Bhowmick said: “Exercising our voting rights is an important tool of democracy. I have decided to visit Kharagpur a day before the election.”
The director has also asked his faculty and students to cast their votes because many teachers and non-teaching employees have their names under Patna Sahib and Pataliputra constituencies. Both the seats go to the polls on April 17.
Though the IIT director refused to say whom he would vote for, he stated that he would support such a candidate and the party that “thinks for the country”.
NIT-Patna director Asok De had travelled to Delhi (850km) to vote ahead of the April 10 election. In De’s parliamentary segment — South Delhi — Congress candidate Ramesh Kumar is pitted against BJP’s Ramesh Bidhuri and AAP’s Devender Sehrawat. De, too, stated that he had voted for the party, which he thinks would be able to form a stable government at the Centre.
Chanakya National Law University (CNLU) vice-chancellor A. Lakshminath would be voting in Patna Sahib.
Though he hails from Andhra Pradesh, Lakshminath said: “Since I have been staying in Patna since the inception of CNLU (2006), my name figures in the voter list in Patna constituency.”
The law institute VC, who stands for strengthening the democracy, has asked his faculty and students to cast their votes. “Since Patna’s both the constituencies vote on April 17, it is a holiday. Students and teachers should not have problem in exercising their franchise,” he said.
The VC added that the institute doesn’t have problem in granting leaves to students or teachers where the polling day falls on a different date.