Colleges gear up for FSU elections

Kathmandu, February 14:

All constituent campuses of Tribhuvan University (TU) have intensified their preparations for the Free Students Union (FSU) elections scheduled for February 28. The FSU election schedule varies as per the conveniences of individual campuses.

The eight student unions affiliated to various political parties are planning to contest the FSU elections in a friendly environment so as not to weaken the eight student unions’ alliance.

Ram Kumar Basnet, vice-president of the All Nepal National Free Students’ Union (ANNFSU), said discussions were underway at the central level of the political parties not to let the election get in the way of the eight-party unity. All the student bodies will be fighting for a democratic republic in the forthcoming FSU elections, he said.

The fact that 95 per cent of the students voted for a democratic republican order in the mini-referendum held in some campus proved the youths are in the favour of a republic, he said.

The nominations of candidates in most of the campuses will be completed by February 20. “We are formulating a policy with some guidelines for all student bodies to proceed forward in the election process,” said Basnet. The eight student unions will soon hold a meeting to discuss the ways to move ahead in the electoral process.

The two Nepal Student Unions, belonging to the Nepali Congress and the Nepali Congress (Democratic) have decided to join hands for the election. Pranay Singh ‘Munna’, president of NSU TU central committee, said discussions between the two student unions were underway for the purpose.

The TU central campus is starting the preparations for the FSU elections from February 19. The TU formed an election commission to conduct the polls today.

Meanwhile, NSU vice-president Pradip Poude said the government was conspiring to disrupt the FSU elections by not releasing the students under detention. “If the government continues with its conspiracy, we will be compelled to take harsh steps,” he added.

Poudel said 50 per cent of all political detainees were students. Most of the arrested students, like Kundan Raj Kafle, Bhim Shrish, Laxman Acharya, Dek Raj Bhattarai, Ganesh Bhatta, Kiran Neupane and Tika Gururg, are the FSU chairmen of various campuses.

The eight student unions also fixed the date of nomination for the FSU election for February 20.

In Public Administration Campus, the NSU won the election unopposed after being the only party to file nomination. The NSU also won unopposed in the Tikapur Campus, Kailali.

Separately, the eight student unions today handed the government a 24-hour ultimatum demanding the release of all the detained students.