Student unions stand divided over FSU polls

Kathmandu, February 26

Student unions affiliated to various political parties are divided over Free Student Union polls.

The FSU election is scheduled to be held on March 1 amid escalating violence in campuses and student unions trading barbs.

Speaking at an interaction organised here today, Nabina Lama, chairperson of CPN-UML-aligned All Nepal National Free Students Union, alleged that Nepal Student Union, a student wing of the Nepali Congress, was resorting to violence to thwart the polls.

“NSU is making a mockery of democracy. We want the polls to be held on the given date,” she said. NSU general secretary Saroj Thapa claimed that the environment was becoming favourable for election in all campuses barring some.

“Pashupati Multiple Campus, Chabahil has been padlocked due to differences among some of our friends and we are making an effort to unlock it. We are not worried about victory and defeat,” he said.

He claimed that NSU was in favour of holding FSU polls on the stipulated date. About 22 campuses under Tribhuvan University have been padlocked in Kathmandu Valley alone and the situation is no better in other parts of the country.

Narendra Neupane, chairperson of All Nepal National Independent Students Union-Revolutionary affiliated to CPN Maoist Centre, was of the view that FSU polls should be held by even using force.

“NSU and ANNFSU, which played a lead role in devising rules for holding FSU polls, are now showing double standards to push the FSU polls into uncertainty. We will not budge from our stance that elections should be held at any cost,” said Neupane.

Semanta Raj Bhandari, chairperson of ANNISU affiliated to Mohan Baidya-led CPN Revolutionary Maoist, said holding FSU polls was meaningless at this juncture when students had decided to boycott the election in Madhes. “Polls should be held not only in hills and mountain but also in Madhes. For this, we want all concerned to create a conducive environment,” he maintained.

Kapaleshwor Yadav, chairperson of Madhesi Student Forum, Nepal (Democratic) affiliated to Madhesi Janaadhikar Forum-Democratic, warned, “If the FSU polls are not held in Madhes, it will be detrimental to all student unions.”