With student elections making a comeback in Mumbai University 22 years after they were discontinued, the youth wings of political parties have stepped up their presence across campuses to maximise chances of winning. “Currently, we have 24,000 members across 82 college units in Mumbai. Once classes start, we shall head to each college from the third week of June and start our agitation,” said Rohit Chandode, secretary of the ABVP.
ABVP’s main cause during the election period will be revaluation fees, said Chandode. The outfit has started an online campaign for it and received over 500 signatures in three days, he said. “We will petition to reduce the fees for revaluation of answer scripts, especially for OBC students”, said Chandode.
The ABVP is organising a “social internship” in the coming week to help its members know each other better.
Some parties are not diverging from their regular operations. “We are always prepared,” said Sainath Durge, a member of the Yuva Sena core committee. “We are the only active political wing in Mumbai, and constantly on the move from one campus to another. From kindergarten to post-graduation, we are on top of all issues,” he added.
Santosh Gangurde of Maharashtra Navnirman Vidhyarthi Sena said: “We have been awaiting these elections for quite some time. The main issues we are concerned about are the exams results and admissions.”
Angelo Menezes, the principal of St Xavier’s College, said: “We will toe the line and conduct the elections. I feel that it would be a good learning experience for the students in electoral politics.”
“I’m not aware of any such election. May be when the college reopens, we will see some activity,” said Danish Cooper, a student of K C College.
Ankit Vaity, a student of Atharva College of Engineering in Malad, said: “In our college, even the student council elections are a big issue. But we don’t know anything about the university elections yet. When active campaigning begins, it will affect our class schedules.”