Debacle over Ducsu
Sincere support from "all quarters" is required to hold the next Dhaka University Central Students' Union (Ducsu) polls, university Vice Chancellor Prof M Akhtaruzzaman said yesterday.
However, his statement has come under fire from ex-Ducsu members and leaders of different student organisations. Talking to this newspaper, they said since DU is an autonomous institution, the administration can hold the polls anytime, as long as it's in line with the Ducsu constitution.
Addressing a press conference on the campus, VC Akhtaruzzaman said, "Sincere support from 'all quarters' is required for the Ducsu polls, along with strengthening the culture of exercising democratic values [at the campus]."
"This is a massive task for all of us. To achieve it, there should be sincerity and commitment from all," he added.
The press conference was held at the campus to brief the media about DU's preparations for the upcoming celebrations of the university's birth centenary and the country's golden jubilee of independence, starting from December 1.
Talking to this correspondent later, the VC said by "all quarters" he referred to everyone, including the country's political parties.
After 28 years, Ducsu's latest polls was held on March 11, 2019. The tenure of that committee ended on June 23 last year. However, the next election is yet to be held.
Meanwhile, criticising the VC's remarks, student leaders said they don't want any excuses when it comes to the polls.
They said while it's understandable that the election was not held on time during the pandemic, now that the situation has improved, there's no reason for the delay in holding it.
They added that they have raised the issue several times but the university administration didn't take effective steps in this regard.
Talking to The Daily Star, Nurul Haque, vice-president of the immediate-past Ducsu, said DU is an autonomous institution. If the administration really wanted to hold the polls, it could hold it anytime.
Saddam Hussain, assistant general secretary of that Ducsu committee and incumbent general secretary of Chhatra League DU unit, said, "We urge the administration to hold the next election immediately."
Amanullah Aman, member secretary of Jatiyatabadi Chhatra Dal DU unit, said such remarks by the VC reflect the administration's unwillingness to hold the polls.
His sentiments were echoed by Faiz Ullah, president of Bangladesh Students' Union.
If the administration sincerely wanted it, they could arrange a fair election, Faiz said, urging the authorities to ensure co-existence of all groups at the campus.