The Telegraph
Tuesday , September 10 , 2013
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Govt to end campus violence, not politics

Education minister Bratya Basu on Monday ruled out apolitical students’ union elections but promised to rid campus polls of violence.

Responding to a query on the government’s stand on governor M.K. Narayanan’s comment in favour of doing away with politics in student union elections, Basu said: “We want student polls to be free of violence but we don’t want apolitical student elections.”

“The demand to depoliticise student union elections is now a topic of discussion but it is not easy for the government to implement,” the minister said on the sidelines of a programme at Motijheel College in Dum Dum.

The state government had in February put college elections on hold after a spate of clashes. It now wants elections to resume in November.

Basu’s statement has raised doubts in the academic circle about whether the proposed rules to govern campus polls would be of any help. “The government is not inclined to depoliticise student polls,” said a principal of a college in south Calcutta.

“There has been violence in every general election. But we have not stopped conducting such elections. So depoliticising student polls is not the solution. What we should do is frame appropriate rules to stop campus violence during student union elections,” Basu said.

He did not clarify what steps the government would take but a source in the education department said student elections in a particular zone or colleges affiliated to a university could be held on a day.