A section of students of Jadavpur University on Saturday held a protest in the presence of West Bengal Governor C.V. Ananda Bose when he arrived at Jadavpur University for the annual convocation of the institution. Those protesting were demanding that elections to the student union council of the University be held immediately. The students held posters and placards and raised slogans demanding elections when the Governor along with the University officials was approaching the venue, for the 65th annual convocation of the University.
This was the first major convocation that the Governor presided over after taking office almost a month ago on November 23. Speaking to journalists later in the day, the Governor said the issue could be sorted out by discussion. On Thursday afternoon, the students protested in front of Vice-Chancellor Suranjan Das and blocked his vehicle. The protesting students who were members of the Students Federation of India and the Faculty of Engineering and Technology Students’ Union said, that the elections to the student union council had been held in the past three years.
Political parties in the State also reacted to the controversy of the students protesting in front of the Governor. Trinamool Congress leader and State’s Minister Firhad Hakim said that it was inappropriate for the students to protest in front of the Governor who had just assumed office. The Communist Party of India (Marxist) State Secretary Mohammad Salim raised questions on why elections to the students unions were not being held in the State. While referring to the protests by the students of the Calcutta Medical College, the CPI(M) leader said that the ruling establishment was aware that if elections were held, they would be defeated.
For the past several weeks, students of the Calcutta Medical College have been protesting, demanding elections to the student union council. Earlier this month, the MBBS students of the institute went on a hunger strike, and on Thursday also, they held “student council elections” on their own even as the institution authorities termed the exercise invalid.