Leaders and activists of Chhatra Dal entered the canteen around 11am Wednesday and stayed there till 2pm
For the first time in nine years, the Bangladesh Jatiotabadi Chatra Dal, student wing of Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP), entered the historic Madhur Canteen in Dhaka University (DU) without any incident.
Madhur Canteen is the traditional centre of student politics in the campus.
Leaders and activists of Chhatra Dal entered the canteen around 11am Wednesday and stayed there till 2pm.
There, they met with the press and raised demands such as a fresh schedule for the Dhaka University Center Students Union (Ducsu) and hall union elections, after ensuring a congenial atmosphere for the election.
They also exchanged greetings with other student politics organizations including Bangladesh Chhatra League, the student wing of the ruling Awami League.
Traditionally the ruling party-backed student organization dominates a public university campus. As such, Chhatra Dal says it has been ousted from the campus for the last nine years. However, Chhatra League says the group has always been welcome.
Also Read- Ducsu polls on March 11 after 28 years
The Ducsu election returning officer on Monday announced that the elections will be held on March 11. Only Chhatra League welcomed the schedule, whereas all other student political organizations expressed dissatisfaction.
Around 30 leaders and activists of the Chhatra Dal, led by their DU unit President Al Mehedi Hasan Talukder and General Secretary Basar Siddiqi, came to the Madhur canteen. Central President Rajib Ahsan and Chhatra Dal General Secretary Akram Hossain joined them later.
Leaders and activists of Chhatra League also came to the canteen, led by Chhatra League DU unit General Secretary Saddam Hossain.
Welcoming the Chhatra Dal to Madhur Canteen, Chhatra League central President Rezwanul Haque Chowdhury Shovon called upon the organization to hold its council and hand over leadership to general students, as he believed the Chhatra Dal leadership had become estranged from the general student body.
Chhatra Dal leaders also exchanged views with Chhatra Union leaders Liton Nandi and Tuhin Kanti Das.
‘Reschedule Ducsu election’
At the press conference, Chhatra Dal central unit President Rajib Ahsan pressed home their seven-point demand including fresh schedule and co-existence of all active student bodies on the campus.
Their other demands include ensuring co-existence of all student political bodies in the campus, polling booths at academic buildings instead of dormitories, and determining franchise based on academic session instead of age.
They demanded that candidates not be harassed, arrested or charged in cases while campaigning, proposed reforms to the Ducsu election committee , and amendments to the Ducsu constitution, including removal of the ‘undemocratic’ article 5(A).
Asked about Chhatra Dal’s possible candidates for the Ducsu election, Rajib said: “We are talking to all the voters and have demanded rescheduling of the polls. Then we will decide our candidates.”
Akram Hossain said: “We hope this kind of political co-existence will continue and the past glory of student politics will be restored.”