Gearing up for another standoff, JNU students have passed a resolution that the university student union polls will not be conducted as per the Lyngdoh committee recommendations but the varsity Constitution will be followed.
“A resolution was passed in the General Body meeting last night that JNU student union polls will not be conducted as per the Lyngdoh committee recommendations but the JNU Constitution will be followed,” JNUSU Vice President Shehla Rashid Shora said.
“The Lyngdoh panel mandate has various arbitrary clauses which we have always been opposed to. However, now we have decided to boycott it and hold our polls as per the university constitution,” she added
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After remaining suspended for 4 years over non-compliance of Lyngdoh committee recommendations which were implemented with a view to keep money and muscle power away from campus elections, JNU had revived the election process in 2012.
The committee headed by former Chief Election Commissioner J M Lyngdoh had in 2005 recommended a cap of Rs 5,000 on election expenses per candidate besides formulating other rules and regulations for cleaning up campus politics.
In 2006, the Supreme Court had directed that these recommendations be implemented.
After a four-year long legal battle, JNU students had agreed to a five-point relaxation to them from the recommendations and went ahead with the polls.
However, now the students have decided to boycott the Lyngdoh committee recommendations and go by the JNU constitution.
Students are the sole authority for conduct of the student union elections and the university administration has no role in the entire process.
The aspects of the Lyndoh panel mandate that the students have been opposing include a cap on the number of times that a candidate can recontest, the reduction of the campaign time from a month to a week and curb on expenditure allowed for the poll campaign, among others,
The students had in the last University General Body Meeting (UGBM) held in December had decided to conduct the elections in March rather than the traditional month of September. However, owing to a controversy over an event against hanging of Afzal Guru during which anti-national slogans were allegedly raised, the plan had to be deferred.
In the UGBM which went on till wee hours today, the students also decided to reject the report as well as the actions decided by the High-level enquiry committee probing the controversial Afzal Guru event.
“Other resolutions passed in the meeting included launch of a national campaign against attack on universities and
demanding justice for Rohith Vemula. The GBM also decided to oppose the university administration’s move to bring changes in the admission policy including curtailing of benefits to OBC and female candidates,” Shehla said.
The UGBM had a quorum of 1100 students. JNU has a student strength of around 8000. While the student union chairs the meeting, any student can participate in the general body meeting irrespective of the political affiliation.