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Updated: May 30, 2014 17:38 IST

TMC candidate faces a different referendum

Kathakali Nandi
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Students of Presidency University on Wednesday taking part in a referendum on Trinamool candidate Sugata Bose. Photo: Kathakali Nandi
The Hindu
Students of Presidency University on Wednesday taking part in a referendum on Trinamool candidate Sugata Bose. Photo: Kathakali Nandi

Students of city’s Presidency University vote on Sugata Bose holding post

Even before the State goes to the polls, the Trinamool Congress candidate from the Jadavpur constituency Sugata Bose faces an election of a different kind — one from the students of the city’s Presidency University.

The Gardiner professor of History at the Harvard University is also the Mentor Group chairperson, formed to lead the Presidency University’s attempt to emerge as a centre of excellence.

Considering Dr. Bose’s contesting elections as a contradiction of his role in the apolitical advisory Group, the Presidency University Students’ Union held a referendum against Dr. Bose, seeking his resignation from the university’s highest decision-making and advisory body.

Till Wednesday evening, 1,000 out of 2,135 students of the institution cast their votes in polling booths at the institution. Polling will continue on Thursday. Votes will be counted on Friday and the result will be communicated to the university authorities. The entire process is being organised by the Independents’ Consolidation-led students’ union. This itself is an apolitical body.

Students said the Mentor Group, formed by Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee soon after she assumed the post, was not really divorced from politics as Dr. Bose’s mother, Krishna Bose, has already been a three-time Parliamentarian from the same constituency on a Trinamool Congress ticket. The college has remained a bastion of the Left Front’s during the party’s 34-year-old rule in the State.

Debojit Thakur, second-year post graduate student of the History department, rued that this was like bringing politics back to the campus as the Mentor Group was formed to function as an apolitical constitutional authority.

“With Dr. Bose representing the Trinamool Congress, it is like bringing politics back into the campus,” echoed first-year student Aryama Roy. Students also expressed their dissatisfaction over Dr. Bose’s decision to contest elections on behalf of a party which was accused of vandalising the institution on April 10, 2013.

The Mentor Group, still investigating the incident, is yet to submit its report on it.

Asked whether Dr. Bose has communicated with the students regarding the referendum, Mr. Thakur said: “We have had no talks with him. He might have spoken to the authorities, we have not been informed about that.”

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