K. VIJAYA BHASKARA REDDY

Elections to the students union of the university will be held on Oct. 30

The serene campus is getting hot with debates, discussions, allegations and counter-allegations. Campaigning is in full swing for the Students’ Union elections of the University of Hyderabad but conspicuous by their absence are banners, posters and pamphlets that are a part of any election.

New faces

Though new faces have come into the fray issues and organisations fighting for supremacy remain same in the elections to be held on October 30.

The main contest this time seems to be again between the long-time contenders -- SFI and ABVP. While the present office-holder ABVP featured Ragam Ravi, a research scholar in Applied Linguistics, SFI has thrown its weight behind Eli Phaz Andra, an M.Tech. second year student for the President post. ABVP is trying to bank on its last year’s achievements while promising new hostels and quality food. Mr. Ravi said, “We brought Internet connection to all hostels, had cements roads laid and organised a series of cultural activities throughout the year.” He said that ABVP would improve the food quality in hostels by appointing mess management committees and work for amenities.

SFI, on the other hand, is on the offensive, and pinned hopes on anti-incumbency factor. Mr. Andra argues that the previous union failed in every respect. “Student protests were banned on campus, girl students faced insecurity.

The previous students’ union failed to oppose the arbitrary decisions of the administration,” he said. Students associated with Dalit organisations, who have been playing an influential role over the years, somehow have stayed away from the scene. If fielding of Dalit students for the top posts by the SFI is one reason, internal bickerings between Dalit student groups is said to be another reason. The aggressive attitude of some students has further widened the gap.

P. Satish Kumar, the Election Commissioner, said that they were implementing all the recommendations of Lyngdoh Committee strictly. Feeling the heat of the recommendations, both the top contenders SFI and ABVP have declared that they don’t have affiliation with any political party and submitted affidavits to this effect to the university Election Commission. Obviously, they are worried over the fact the elections in Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) were stayed after allegations over the violations of Lyngdoh Committee recommendations. According to the recommendations, no student organisation with political affiliations can participate in university elections and they cannot use posters and banners of colour that indicate the party affiliations. Only campaign material with white background and blue letters would be permitted. However, elections in UoH are quite unique in the sense that the administration has little role to play and the entire process is monitored by an Election Commissioner appointed from among the students.