Even a week into the Ducsu election, the crisis at the Dhaka University is yet to be over as five agitating panels including that of new Vice President Nurul Haque Nur have again demanded fresh polls.
They are going to observe a sit-in in front of the office of DU vice chancellor, boycotting classes and examinations today to press home their demand, said their representatives during a joint press conference at Madhur Canteen yesterday.
Speaking at a separate press conference of Bangladesh Sadharan Chhatra Odhikar Sangrakkhan Parishad, Nur demanded repolling and alleged that the March 11 election was not held in a free, fair and credible manner.
He came up with the demand just a day after he along with other elected student representatives met Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina at the Gono Bhaban and sought her all-out cooperation in proper functioning of Ducsu for the welfare of all students.
On his speech at the Gono Bhaban, Nur said many BCL men were also present alongside Ducsu and hall union leaders at the prime minister's office on Saturday and that's why he could not say many things to the premier. He also claimed to have lost concentration there.
Asked why he did not press for re-election at the meeting with the PM, Nur said he told the premier about the anomalies during the Ducsu polls besides briefing her about different crises of the university.
“Ducsu election is a matter of the university and not of the government. As an autonomous entity, the university can hold the election again if it wants.”
About taking oath as the Ducsu VP, he said, “I will take the decision considering the prevailing situation. Alongside, I will talk to those who are carrying out movements.
He also ruled out any possibility of splits within the five panels.
Nur, known for his participation in the quota reform movement, said the persons who played controversial roles in the Ducsu election will have to stay away from future election process.
And the officials involved in the electoral process have to resign from their administrative posts, he added.
He claimed that the people have lost faith in electoral system after witnessing the last parliamentary polls but they hoped that the Ducsu election would restore the trust.
“But the election did not match our expectations and in some cases the teachers were involved in irregularities. Expressing solidarity with the students who observed hunger strike at the Raju Memorial Sculpture and in front of Ruqayyah Hall, I am demanding re-election,” he said.
Leftist panel Pragatishil Chhatra Oikya organised another press conference where Ducsu vice president candidate Liton Nandi criticised the remarks of Nur at the Gono Bhaban. He said the speech of Nur was completely contradictory to his earlier statement.
“Since the election day, Nur had been demanding re-election. But in his speech at the Gono Bhaban, he said there were a few mistakes in the election this time and demanded the prime minister's help to avert recurrence of those in the next polls.”
Liton, also general secretary of Chhatra Union, demanded resignation of the DU VC for “his failure to stop vote rigging” and withdrawal of all false cases filed against their activists.
Liton said a scandalous chapter in the history of DU has been written through this “farcical” Ducsu election.
“We demanded ballot boxes be taken to the halls on the election day instead of previous night but the authorities did not pay heed to it. It was a farcical election and that is why we demand repolling after boycotting its results," he said.
In separate press conferences, Chhatra Federation, Swatantra Jote and Swadhikar Swatantra Parishad placed the same demands.
ARM Asifur Rahman, a general secretary contender in the Ducsu election, said the authorities should immediately announce schedule for reelection as all panels except for that of BCL had boycotted the election.
“The university authorities had imposed restrictions like barring live telecast by journalists and mobile phones inside the polling centres and thus carried out vote riggings,” Asif said.
Earlier on Wednesday, the panels who boycotted the polls gave a three-day ultimatum to the university authorities, demanding a re-election.