SFI bags top four posts in Presidency University polls after 9 years

It wrested the union from the Independents’s Consolidation


 The Communist Party of India (Marxist) (CPI-M) backed Students’ Federation of India (SFI) won all the top four posts in the Presidency University students’ union elections on Thursday, after a gap of nine years, The Hindu reported.

The elections were held after 34 months, the last being held in 2017. The SFI formed the panel with prime posts – President, Vice President, General Secretary, Assistant General Secretary and the Girl’s Common Room Secretary.


(Image Credit – The Times of India)

The SFI got 1,085, 999, and 840 votes for the post of the President, Vice President and General Secretary. This opposed to 163, 640 and 574 votes bagged by the Independents’ Consolidation (IC) for the same positions. It also won 58 of the 116 class representative posts.

The IC won 52 class representative posts and the Trinamool Congress Chhatra Parishad (TMCP) won 16.

Apart from the SFI and IC, the All India Students’ Association, DSO, and All India Students’ Federation were also in the fray.

The posts went to: Mimosa Ghora – President, Ankita Mukherjee – Vice President, Souren Mallick – General Secretary, Deeprajit Debnath – Assistant General Secretary and Shruti Roy Muhuri – Girls’ Common Room Secretary.

The SFI said “reactionary forces” like the ABVP, TMCP and their agents have been defeated with a clear margin.

“The single handed majority in class representatives and huge victory in the central panel posts have shown that the student community is standing tall with the politics of SFI,” it said.

“Even when SFI was not in the union, we worked for the students. This made all the difference. Hence, they chose us” said Shruti Roy Muhui, who won the GSEC post.

Poll outcome indicates students eager for change

An analysis by The Times of India, shows the following:

This year, the total polling percentage was 82% at 1,950 and None of the Above (NOTA) had 252 votes, i.e. 12.5%. NOTA votes had dropped 10% from the last polls in 2017. Also, unlike 2017, the win of the margin has gone up considerably.

During the last polls in 2017, the IC had grabbed the president’s post only by a margin of 90 votes. This year, the SFI candidate Mimosa Ghorai bagged the same position with a margin of 472 votes.

“This shows that the win was decisive and voters have consciously chosen SFI to lead the students on campus”, said Srijan Bhattacharya, SFI State Secretary.

About the election results, Registrar Debajyoti Konar said, “This is a victory for the students of the Presidency University. The polling was held in a very competitive and democratic manner.”

The SFI’s immediate agenda

The SFI has a list of things it has already set out to accomplish. They have demanded the immediate start of operations in the remaining three wards (under renovation) of the Eden Hindu Hostel, where currently only two are operational. The priority is also to set up a boys’ common room and another gender neutral (even those who don’t conform to the gender binary) common room.

The students have also demanded the launch of M-Phil and post-doctorate courses in all departments, apart from setting a placement cell and a scholarship cell.

In 2013, the Presidency University was ransacked by protests in which an activist of the SFi, Sudipto Gupta lost his life. A hot-bed of left-wing politics, the university was damaged by a mob from the TMCP who were protesting against the attack on Mamata Banerjee and Finance Minister Amit Mitra that had taken place in Delhi.

The campus violence that was witnessed during this time, propelled the University to take up council elections online from 2014.

Mamata Banerjee had put student union polls in all universities and colleges in the state on hold in 2017, with an idea to bring in “apolitical student councils” in a bid to contain unrest on the campus where various incidents of assaults on teachers, professors and principals had been reported.


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