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Congress seeks Presidential intervention into BHU students' union elections

PTI November 23, 2014 6:42 IST

New Delhi: Congress has made a strong plea to President Pranab Mukherjee to intervene in the affairs of Banaras Hindu University (BHU) to ensure immediate students union elections, an issue that has seen agitation on the campus.

Party general secretary Mohan Prakash said that he had appealed to the President, who is the Visitor of BHU - a Central university.

Prakash, who had been the leader of BHU Students' Union decades back, also wanted Prime Minister Narendra Modi to ensure that the elections are held. Modi represents Varanasi in the Lok Sabha.

The demand came a day after three dozen students were arrested by Uttar Pradesh police, and at least five hostels of the BHU had to be vacated after violence broke out in the sprawling campus on Thursday over the demand to hold students' union elections.

Prakash argued that since elections to the students' unions in other central varsities like Aligarh Muslim University, Delhi University and Jawaharlal Nehru University were taking place, they should also be held in BHU.

Besides, he said, the Uttar Pradesh government was also allowing students' union polls in other universities of the state.

He demanded immediate release of arrested students and withdrawal of cases against them.

BHU students have been demanding restoration of the union and proper elections instead of the administration holding fresh polls for the students' council.

They had even staged a protest in front of Union Human Resource Minister Smriti Irani on the issue during her recent visit to Varanasi.

The students' union was dissolved in 1997 after large scale violence and arson, in which a few students were killed in police firing, were witnessed on the campus.

After much pressure, a students' council was formed in 2007-08. However, students want a proper union like other varsities of the state.