ABVP starts activity in Bengal following BJP’s success

ABVP starts activity in Bengal following BJP’s success

The ABVP leadership has set a target of enrolling 1 lakh new members in Bengal in 20 days from June 2. Currently, ABVP has about 40,000 members in the state. PTI file photo

Following the unprecedented rise of BJP in West Bengal in the Lok Sabha elections, ABVP has decided to step its activity in the sate. The saffron student organisation linked to BJP and RSS has launched a three-fold program in a bid to take on the Trinamool Chattra Parishad (TMCP), the student wing of Trinamool Congress (TMC).

The ABVP leadership has set a target of enrolling 1 lakh new members in Bengal in 20 days from June 2. Currently, ABVP has about 40,000 members in the state.

According to ABVP state leadership, they have already launched a large-scale agitation demanding immediate student body election in all the colleges of Bengal.

There has been no student body election in Bengal since 2017 when an order was issued by the state’s Higher Education Department to ensure that such elections become “apolitical.”

The West Bengal Universities and Colleges (compositions, functions and Procedures for Elections to Students’ Council), 2017 states that the students’ councils in colleges and universities will not use any banner or symbol of any political party during election or campaigning and all the candidates will contest as individuals, rather than representative of any political party.

While TMCP controls the majority of the student councils in the state, SFI has some influence in a handful of councils. ABVP is yet to gain control of any student council.

“This order is nothing but a ploy of the state government to ensure that the majority of the colleges in West Bengal remain under control of TMCP. Since no student council election was held in last two years TMCP has captured most of the student councils,” Sapatarshi Sarkar, ABVP state president told DH.

As per the existing norm, every elected student council has a term of one year and hence, the majority of such bodies have long passed their scheduled tenure.

Although Sarkar claimed that the ABVP is not the student wing of BJP or any other political party and is a student organisation, it is no coincidence that its activity in the state has increased after the BJP’s stunning success.

He also said that in several colleges in north Bengal, ABVP has gained enough strength to wrest control of the student councils. “But we believe in democracy and will not take any such steps. We want student council elections to be held at the earliest,” said Sarkar.

The TMCP leadership has dismissed the ABVP’s claims. “Those who want to create divisions in college campuses on the lines of religion, caste and language will never be accepted by students of Bengal,” said TMCP vice president Manishankar Mondal.

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