The Students Federation of India (SFI),the students wing of the CPM,emerged victorious in the Presidency College students general elections after five years.
The SFI won by a narrow margin managing 38 seats while the Independents Consolidation (IC) got 34 seats.
The credit for the victory lies with the children of Left Front ministers Saptarshi Deb,son of Housing Minister Gautam Deb,and Hiya Mukherjee,daughter of Tourism Minister Manab Mukherjee.
As the college went to the polls on Wednesday,political issues took a backseat,with the focus mainly on campus issues.
In the last few elections,Singur and Nandigram had dominated the polls. Posters on Singur and Nandigram adorned the whole campus and it was on these issues that IC was voted to power.
Campus issues like vacancy in the post of teachers in the college,poor show by the college milieu (annual fest) and campus recruitment were the issues,which dominated the polls this year.
Last year the IC won by a narrow margin winning 37 class representatives while SFI had bagged 35 seats. Victory was always near at hand and students have become disillusioned with the IC and Democratic Students Organisation (DSO) combine, said a jubilant Saptarshi Deb,SFI unit secretary of the college.
Hiya Mukherjee claimed that the students union had not performed in the last few years and their only agenda was opposing the SFI.
Both Saptarshi and Hiya said they being children of the CPM ministers,had nothing to do with the victory. However,IC representatives said they lost because of a liaison between the CPM and the college authorities.
This is a vote for industrialisation. The IC was opposing Singur and back in college they were keen on placements in big industrial houses.
The students have rejected the double standard of the opposition, said Kaustav Chaterjee,the state secretary of the SFI,who rushed to the college after the news of victory spread.
In 2002 and 2003,the SFI had managed to clinch victories in a similar manner when Ajanta Biswas,the daughter of the former CPM state secretary Anil Biswas,and Suchetana Bhattacharjee,the daughter of Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee,were hailed as the catalyst behind the victories.
We admit organisational failure on our part. We cannot expect students to vote for us always, said Avijit Sarkar,the IC representative and general secretary of the college.
The IC representatives,however,said they were physically abused and threatened during the polls.
Till late in the afternoon tension prevailed in the campus and the IC students remained huddled in a corner of the college in front the principals chamber.
In the evening the IC supporters were taken out of the college in police vans.