Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday urged the newly elected leaders of Dhaka University Central Students' Union (Ducsu) to help revive healthy politics in the country.
“This Ducsu election was very crucial to creating leadership,” she said as the student representatives called on her at the Gono Bhaban in the afternoon.
“Let healthy political trend return to the country through this election. It's our job to bring back this healthy political trend,” she added.
The prime minister on Thursday invited Ducsu and hall union leaders to a meeting scheduled for 4:00pm yesterday. Responding to it, they paid the visit to her official residence.
Hasina advised them to learn how to lead the country. “You'll have to learn how you can lead the future Bangladesh. So love the country and the people,” she added.
“If you work to take the country towards development rising above personal aspirations, you'll be successful leaders. And this is the teaching of the Father of the Nation. You should follow this.”
Ducsu Vice President Nurul Haque Nur, General Secretary Golam Rabbani and Assistant General Secretary Saddam Hossain addressed the meet.
Besides, Bangladesh Chhatra League President Rezwanul Haque Chowdhury Shovan and vice-presidents of 18 hall unions spoke on the occasion.
DU BCL President Sanjit Chandra Das, also the organisation's polls steering committee chief, delivered the welcome address while Golam Rabbani introduced to the prime minister all the student representatives.
'MY MOTHER'S IMAGE'
After meeting the PM, Nur told journalists, “I have told the prime minister that there had been some irregularities in the Ducsu election. I requested her to investigate those and she said she would look into the matters.”
Earlier at the meet, he expressed gratitude to the prime minister for helping the DU administration arrange the Ducsu election, reports UNB.
“She cooperated with the university administration. Or else, the election would not have been held,” he said, adding that the successive governments after 1990 did not want to take any risk over holding the Ducsu polls but Sheikh Hasina has done this.
“I expect the prime minister's cooperation in proper functioning of Ducsu,” said Nur, who contested the March 11 polls from the quota reformists' panel.
Praising the Father of the Nation, he said Bangabandhu was not only the leader of Bangladesh but also of the entire world, and Hasina epitomised all the qualities of the great leader.
He touched the prime minister's feet in respect.
“I lost my mother at the age of two and a half. After losing her, I saw my mother's image in one of my school teachers during my childhood and now I have found it in the prime minister,” he said.
On the movement for reforms in civil service quota, Nur said the prime minister was misinformed by the sources who were asked to report on the student agitations.
That is why a misunderstanding was created between the PM and students, meeting insiders quoted him as saying.
Ducsu Social Welfare Secretary Akhter Hossain, another candidate of the quota reformists' panel, who became known for his hunger strike against question leak in a DU admission test last year, urged the prime minister to act against those involved in such types of scam.
Other Ducsu leaders, including Saddam Hossain, projected before the prime minister their vision for their campus.
Ducsu AGS Saddam Hossain said Sheikh Hasina will be made the first lifetime member of central students' union at its maiden meeting.
Hall union leaders informed the premier about various problems including severe accommodation crisis at the DU dormitories, Forhad Ali, VP of Kabi Jasim Uddin Hall, told The Daily Star.
Earlier around 3:00pm, the student leaders elected from BCL panel reached the Gono Bhaban, starting from DU Mall Chattar by university buses.
BCL President Shovon and DU unit BCL chief Sanjit Chandra Das accompanied them.
Twenty minutes later, Nur and Akhter went to the PM's residence by a car rented from a ride sharing service instead of DU buses or the vehicle provided by the PMO, said Faruk Hasan, joint convener of quota reformists' platform.
The BCL-backed panel dominated the polls but its VP candidate was defeated by quota movement leader Nur in the Ducsu election, held after 28 long years.
The quota reformists' panel secured two posts while BCL men bagged 23 out of the 25 posts of the Ducsu.
The polls were boycotted by BCL's rival candidates amid allegations of irregularities.
'YOU'LL HAVE TO PROMISE...'
Hasina asked the student representatives to maintain a peaceful atmosphere on the campus and said, “We want the universities to be run properly and for this there has to be a good environment.”
Talking about the accommodation crisis of the DU students, she said her government constructed a number of dormitories at the university. It will take measures to repair all dilapidated buildings at the university.
She also said those who are followers of the ideology of Bangabandhu work for the country's welfare and those who grabbed power did not do so.
“So we'll have to go ahead with the Liberation War spirit. You'll have to promise that future Bangladesh will be built with this spirit,” she said.
About the quota reform movement, the prime minister criticised the attack on the residence of DU vice chancellor.
She said the Dhaka University was the centre of all movements beginning from the Language Movement. “But incident like torching the VC's residence never happened before.”
About the quota system in government jobs, Hasina said Bangabandhu had preserved quota for the underprivileged and ethnic minority people, the women and the disabled, reports BSS.
“Following his footsteps, we had preserved the quota for them. But when the quota was not fulfilled, we relaxed the provision by taking the candidates from other lists.”
On the road safety movement, Hasina said many outsiders took part in the movement in the guise of students. “So we had to take steps naturally and the students returned home responding to our call,” she said.
“So I would like to tell those who will give leadership to remain alert so that none can carry out any sabotage centring on such issues.”
She expressed happiness over peaceful holding of the Ducsu election. “Any incident of terrorism or bomb blasts didn't take place centring on the polls as strict instructions were given to the law enforcement agencies and university administration.”
The prime minister congratulated the leaders of Ducsu and hall union leaders and said it is their responsibility to look after the welfare of the students.