MU to hold senate elections in April | Mumbai news - Hindustan Times
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MU to hold senate elections in April

Oct 31, 2023 06:58 AM IST

The University of Mumbai has unveiled the schedule for its senate elections, with voter registration on October 30 and the election taking place on April 21. The delay in the election has drawn criticism from youth wings of political parties, who accuse the university of acting under government pressure. The new schedule allows youth wings to prepare for the elections, after initially being excluded based on a complaint from a BJP MLA. The university has also introduced new voter registration rules, requiring all graduates to reapply online and submit offline forms.

Mumbai: After a series of contentious developments, the University of Mumbai (MU) on Monday unveiled its senate election schedule for the graduate constituency. The voter registration process will be on October 30, while the election will take place on April 21, marking the end of the ongoing academic year.

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The results of the election will be announced on April 24, at 9am at Cowasji Jehangir Convocation Hall, Fort. This election will feature a total of 10 seats, distributed among various categories. Graduate voter registration for the election will take place from October 30 to November 30, 2023, and can be completed online through the official university websites.

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The registration process will be followed by a period of scrutiny, objections, and the publication of voter lists from December 1 to February 25. The final voter list will be released on February 26, and the official election notification will be issued on February 29.

This extended delay has drawn criticism from the youth wings of political parties, who have accused the university of acting under government pressure. The new schedule provides an opportunity for youth wings to prepare for elections, who were initially excluded as per a letter from the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MLA Ashish Shelar addressed to the higher education minister raising concerns regarding electoral roll, on August 9.

In response, the government asked MU to investigate Shelar’s complaint and deferred the elections. Accordingly, MU postponed the elections.

“The new schedule helps the youth wings in their preparation. Two months ago, Yuva Sena of Shinde-led Shiv Sena and Akhil Bhartiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP), had not declared the names of candidates till the last date of the form filing,” senior senate member and professor of MU, said.

The sudden postponement of the senate elections had angered student unions, resulting in a fierce exchange of criticism between the ruling party and the opposition.

To challenge MU’s decision, advocate Sagar Devre filed a petition in HC. Based on the petition MU published a revised schedule on Monday. After the schedule was published, Devre said, “The university announced the senate election programme to avoid contempt of court. But the ruling party and the MU, under pressure have worked to disrupt the power of the election.”

Devre further added that fresh voter registration is an insult to the graduates who registered earlier.

Yuva Sena (UBT) member and candidate for senate election, Pradeep Sawant said the state government is not ready to take any risk as they have scheduled senate elections after or with the general elections of the country. “This is injustice to student representatives, as we are losing our time to represent students in the house of MU,” he said. The university has also introduced new voter registration rules, which necessitate all graduates of MU to reapply for voter registration through an online application and also need to submit offline forms afterward. This development has taken many student organisations by surprise, especially those that had previously registered a substantial number of graduates as voters.

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