Over 28 per cent electors cast their votes at 15 colleges under Ranchi University (RU) on Thursday during the first phase of the fifth Ranchi University students’ union elections amid protests by Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) members at SS Memorial College in Ranchi.
Highest number of students, 3223, turned out to cast their votes at Marwari College in Ranchi.
The average voter turnout was around 20 per cent in the remaining 14 colleges, RU officials said. Over 90 per cent voters cast their votes at RTC BEd College – the highest in this election. The poll process at SS Memorial College on Kanke Road was marred by protests. ABVP members accused the college administration of trying to influence the voters and staged a protest at the college gate in the evening.
Local police had to intervene in order to make peace at the college premises as ABVP members raised slogans of Jai Sri Ram and Bharat Mata Ki Jai outside the college. “The elections were held peacefully in all the colleges barring a few stray incidents of protests,” said Prakash Jha, Public Relations Officer of RU.
Elections are held in two phases in Ranchi University. In the first phase, students’ representatives are elected at college level and then in the second phase, these representatives vote among themselves to form the Ranchi University Students’ Union (RUSU).
RU has conducted only four students’ union election – in 1987, 2007, 2016 and 2018 – since its formation in 1962, highlighting the lack of say student bodies have in the varsity. As per the rules laid down by the varsity, it is supposed to hold elections every year.
On Thursday, voting started at 10.30am and continued till all the colleges had declared the polling over. The students voted for five positions –President, Vice President, Secretary, Joint Secretary and Additional Secretary—in each of the 15 colleges. According to sources from RU, at least 257 candidates contested the elections on Thursday. The winners of this phase of the elections will vote in the second phase of the elections, the date for which is yet to be announced.
There are 16 constituent and 52 affiliated colleges across five districts under Ranchi University, which has more than 75,000 students on its rolls.
Constituent colleges are part of and maintained by the university, while affiliated colleges are independent educational institutes that offer degrees under the university’s name.