Presidency students say ‘no’ to Sugata as head of mentor group
Trinamool Congress Lok Sabha candidate professor Sugata Bose Friday lost a referendum held by students of the Presidency University on whether he should continue as chairperson of the elite institute’s mentor group after joining politics.
Around 1,208 students voted in favour of Bose’s resignation, while only 316 students said he could continue holding the post.
The university’s student body, Independent Consolidation, organised voting on the issue for two days in which a large majority of students participated.
The result was announced Friday. The result will not be binding on the authorities as it only reflects the choice of the students.
“He should resign now as the mandate of the students is clear. We do not want to bring politics into the management of the university and since he is now a political person he should resign,” Presidency’s Students’ Council vice-president Amardeep Singh said.
They will soon meet Sugata Bose, who is the Trinamool Congress candidate in the Lok Sabha election from Jadavpur constituency, and convey him their decision. “If he doesn’t step down we will continue to protest against him,” Singh added.
Bose, who is also a Gardiner Professor of Oceanic History and Affairs at Harvard University, has already hinted that he wants to continue with the post.
Criticising the referendum, state higher education minister Bratya Basu said, it was ‘unconstitutional’, as even the Prime Minister, who is a politician, acts as the chancellor of central universities.
During the voting, students were asked to cast their votes as “Yes” or “No” on the subject.
The mentor group was set up by West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee to provide recommendations and a roadmap to turn Presidency University into a pre-eminent institution of learning of international repute.
Nobel laureate professor Amartya Sen is acting as an advisor to the group.