UP govt revokes ban on students union elections

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Lucknow, Mar 5 (UNI) Apparently bowing down to the pressure from the Samajwadi Party (SP), the ten-month-old Mayawati government in Uttar Pradesh today revoked the ban on students union elections imposed in September 2007.

''The election in state universities and degree colleges would take place from the next academic session,'' Chief Minister Mayawati announced in the state Assembly here.

Ban on students union elections was imposed on September 7,2007 by the state government stating law and order problem in the educational institutions.

The SP which had been agitating animatedly in support of the demand and had locked horns with the government over the issue, was cultivating the student politics in the state as part of its overall political stretegy. Its agitation had even turned violent at many places on January 9 claiming life of student Mukesh Yadav in the police firing in Etawah.

She said directive would be issued to hold the elections within 6 to 8 weeks after the start of the new session in July.

In her suo moto statement in the House, she said the recommendations of the Lyngdoh Committee in this regard would be strictly implemented.

The SP, the main Opposition party in the Assembly, had been agitating in support of restoration of students union elections.

Ms Mayawati claimed that the decision to lift the ban was taken after the academic session of the universities were regularised and the criminals were thrown out of the colleges.

''A high-level committee headed by the Chief Secretary had also recommendated to the government yesterday to lift the ban and holding the elections on the recommendation of the Lyngdoh Commission report which had been approved by the Supreme Court'', he said.

The Chief Minister also read out some of the terms and conditions involved in the process of elections included the upper limit of expenditure being fixed at Rs 5000.

She said the upper age limit for students seeking to contest elections would be 22 years for graduation level, while it would be 24 years and 28 years for post-graduate and research scholars of the university and degree colleges respectively. Also, those students who had criminal cases against them would not be allowed to contest elections.

Ms Mayawati said now the election process would be completed within ten days of the filing of the nomination including campaigning while no printing material would be used for electioneering.'' Minimum 75 per cent attendence is compulsory for any candidate to contest the elections while only regular students would be allowed to contest the same'', she maintained.

The decision of the state government came immediately in praise from the SP whose senior leader Mohd Azam Khan hailed it, saying it would be in the interest of the democratic norms.

UNI MB/SB AKJ DS1530

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