The proposed elections to the Senate of the University of Calicut are expected to be another face-off between pro-Left and pro-United Democratic Front (UDF) camps, if some current developments are any indication.
A group of college managers aligned to the UDF have alleged that the university authorities are planning to curtail their voting rights in the elections. They claimed that they had been asked to produce “unnecessary documents,” such as the attested photocopy of the minutes of managing committee/governing body/Trust and the appointment order and proceedings of the manager during the relevant period, as part of preparing the voters’ list. Any failure to send these could lead to non-inclusion in the electoral roll without intimation, they were reportedly told. While some managers have given the details, some others have not done it.
The managers aligned to the UDF, however, pointed out that the university had all the details of affiliated colleges. There had been regular meetings involving college managers and the university authorities too. Even then, they were being asked for more data, which was an attempt to remove them from the voters’ list, the managers alleged. They also claimed that the seat for college managers are usually won by those aligned to the UDF. The attempt was to stop this trend, they claimed.
A total of 56 members are to be elected from various categories, of whom 28 members represent teachers, including college principals.
Meanwhile, the Confederation of Kerala College Teachers, an organisation affiliated to the Indian Union Muslim League, last week approached the Governor, who is also the Chancellor of the university, claiming that the election process was not fair and transparent. The election section in the university had been filled with staff who were close to the CPI(M), or members or functionaries of pro-Left unions, they alleged in the letter. None of the members of pro-UDF staff unions had been posted in the section. “We are concerned that this lack of representation may lead to a biased and unfair election process,” the teachers said. They urged the Chancellor to direct the university authorities to appoint members of Opposition-aligned unions in the election section.