Pragatisheel Chhatra Jote, an alliance of left-leaning student organisations, yesterday gave Dhaka University (DU) administration a four-day ultimatum to set up polling centres outside dormitories for Dhaka University Central Students' Union (Ducsu) election, to be held on March 11.
They also demanded that democratic environment be ensured on the campus in order to hold the polls peacefully.
The Jote declared to lay siege to the Vice Chancellor's office on Monday if their demands are not met.
To press home their demands, Jote activists brought out a procession at 12:30 pm on campus which ended in front of the VC office, after parading through Arts building and Faculty of Business Studies area.
Speaking there, coordinator of the Jote, Ikbal Kabir alleged that dominance and occupation of the ruling party's student front prevails in dormitories and it might manipulate the election.
“Most student organisations, including ours, have been demanding that polling centres be set up in academic buildings, but the administration has not paid heed to our demands -- giving advantage to Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL). We think that this step would push the university towards an undemocratic situation,” he added.
Meanwhile, Sammilito Shikkharthi Sangsad, a platform comprising of 22 socio-cultural organisations of Teacher-Student Centre (TSC) extended their support to the administration's decision to hold the polls inside halls yesterday at a press conference in Madhur Canteen. BCL formed this platform before December 30 national election.
While reading out a written statement, SM Rakib Sirazi, president of DU Debating Society, said “The polling centres of Ducsu election have been set up inside halls historically. There is no objection among general students about the decision.”
They also urged all student bodies not to hold any programmes which are in conflict with the electoral code of conduct.
BCL central president Rezwanul Haque Chowdhury Shovon and DU unit general secretary Saddam Hussain also spoke at the press conference.
In another development, Jatiyatabadi Chhatra Dal yesterday said they want coexistence of all political parties always, not only during the time of the polls.
They raised the demands after JCD leaders went to Madhur Canteen for the second consecutive day at around 11am.
“There is no political coexistence in the halls. JCD activists have started entering the campus but we do not just want Ducsu-centric coexistence. We want this democratic environment and [peaceful] coexistence to prevail in the future,” JCD central general secretary Akramul Hasan told journalists.
JCD leaders remained at the canteen till 1:30 pm.
The previous Ducsu and hall union elections were held in 1990.