Gaurav Vivek Bhatnagar

Denial has come as a shock to Congress leaders

It may have an adverse impact on the party’s prospects in the DUTA and DUSU elections

‘It would be an uphill task for the NSUI to repeat its performance of the past couple of years’

NEW DELHI: With the Delhi Government deciding not to extend the tenure of the governing bodies of 28 colleges for another three months, a large section of Congress leaders in the Capital are worried that it may have an adverse impact on the party’s prospects in the forthcoming elections to the Delhi University Teachers’ Association (DUTA) and the Delhi University Students’ Union (DUSU).

An All-India Congress Committee member said, denial of renewal to the governing bodies has come as a major shock for those involved in university politics as usually such an extension is granted if sought ahead of the elections.

“The governing body of every college wields some influence on the teachers and students and this in times

juof a tough contest can prove crucial,” he said, adding that the divisions in the Congress might also have a bearing on the results of the DUTA and DUSU elections this year.

The Congress leader said all these governing bodies had been given an extension three months ago and their extended term was to expire in the first week of August.

Though in the last week of July the National Students’ Union of India president Nadeem Ahmed wrote to the Delhi Government seeking extension of the tenure of all the governing bodies by another three months so that they remain in power when DUTA goes to the polls on August 29 and DUSU on September 7, there has been no response.

The leader said while it would be an uphill task for the NSUI to repeat its performance of the past couple of years in DUSU, in DUTA too there is a lot of division within the rank and file, with the group divided among S. Rathi and Kiran Walia and their respective supporters.

“This time the presidential candidate for the DUTA elections is Aditya Mishra, who is a relative of the Congress MLA from Nasirpur, Mahabal Mishra. He is considered close to DPCC president Ram Babu Sharma and belongs to the Rathi camp. As such he is likely to face some opposition from those who are inclined towards Dr. Walia,” the AICC office-bearer said.

At such times, when the party is still struggling to come to terms with the Municipal Corporation of Delhi election results, the workers believe a lot needs to be done to improve the prospects in these two elections.

“Though we lost the Municipal Corporation of Delhi polls badly, hardly any introspection has been done into the cause and no effort has been made to rectify the situation. The party workers are completely disillusioned. Moreover, every other day you have a new issue. Be it the Blueline bus crisis, the talk about toppling the Government or the issue of power being raked up by MLA Mukesh Sharma, everywhere you find Congress leaders pitted against each other. In such a situation how can we even think of posing a formidable challenge to the Bharatiya Janata Party in the Assembly elections due in 2008?” he asked.