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Indore: ABVP pressure forces government to suspend polls

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Indore: ABVP has the last laugh. Giving in to pressure mounted by the BJP’s student wing, state government on Sunday suspended senate polls of Devi Ahilya Vishwavidyalaya (DAVV) merely two days ahead of the voting. The sudden suspension of sparked a war of words between the major contending parties—candidates supported by the Congress and BJP.

The move was taken on the basis of reports submitted by district administration and DAVV to the government on the senate polls. In its report, the district administration reportedly had stated that total number of new registrations for the elections were low, the fact that even DAVV too have admitted. Following the reports, additional secretary (higher education) Veeran Singh Bhalawi in a letter to DAVV registrar, said that “The senate election process is suspended till next order.”

The department of higher education (DHE) invoked Section 68 of Madhya Pradesh Vishwavidyalaya Adhiniyam- 1973, which empowers the university to take whatever decision it finds fit to address any difficulty during formation of any body or authority at the university. The Section 68 reads: “If any difficulty arises as to the first constitution or reconstitution of any authority of the university after the commencement of this (MP University) Act, or otherwise in giving effect to the provisions of the Act, the state government, as occasion may require, may by order do anything, which appears to it necessary for the purpose of removing the difficulty.” Notably, after a gap of nearly three decades, the DAVV was going to hold the senate polls to elect five student representatives from registered graduates. Registration for graduates started in December last year, but a notice about the same went completely unnoticed by students graduated from DAVV or other universities.


The department of higher education (DHE) invoked Section 68 of Madhya Pradesh Vishwavidyalaya Adhiniyam- 1973, which empowers the university to take whatever decision it finds fit to address any difficulty during formation of any body or authority at the university. The Section 68 reads: “If any difficulty arises as to the first constitution or reconstitution of any authority of the university after the commencement of this (MP University) Act, or otherwise in giving effect to the provisions of the Act, the state government, as occasion may require, may by order do anything, which appears to it necessary for the purpose of removing the difficulty.” Notably, after a gap of nearly three decades, the DAVV was going to hold the senate polls to elect five student representatives from registered graduates. Registration for graduates started in December last year, but a notice about the same went completely unnoticed by students graduated from DAVV or other universities.

Registration for graduates started in December last year, but a notice about the same went completely unnoticed by students graduated from DAVV or other universities. A proof to it was that no new registration was filed from the date of release of the notice till April 14, 2017, the day election schedule was declared, clearly mentioning April 17 as the last date of registration for polls. April 15 and 16 being holidays, technical graduates thus had only a single day left in hand to register for polls. The last day however saw registration application of nearly 85 students, with 75 of them declared valid. Alleging graduates were not given enough time to register for the election and thus demanding extension of deadline, ABVP activists even staged protests at the DAVV for four days, but to no avail, as the then returning officer VK Singh denied amending the election schedule, saying it was beyond his powers. As many as eight candidates– three BJP supported and five Congress supported– filed nominations for the polls by the June 27 deadline for the same.

 As the deadline passed off, ABVP national secretary moved Indore bench of Madhya Pradesh High Court to seek cancellation of the polls, citing violation of model code of conduct by the DAVV. His petition to the high court claimed that while according to the Statute 23, the last date for receipt of nomination should be 45th day after the publication of election notice, DAVV accepted nominations for 70 days after the issue of notice. Though ABVP failed to get judgment in its favour from the court, the government’s decision to suspend the election process sent jubilation in ABVP camp.