No one of the Jatiyatabadi Chhatra Dal (JCD) candidates for the top three posts -- VP, GS and AGS -- managed to bag even 500 votes in the latest Ducsu election, demonstrating a stunning fall of the BNP's student front which had won the top posts in the last election 28 years ago.
BNP and ex-JCD leaders said they had not expected good results in the Ducsu polls, but they could not imagine such a debacle of their student body.
They think lack of preparation, suitable candidates and strong committees at DU and its different halls, serious organisational weakness and running the organisation for long by non-students are the major reasons behind the very poor show of the student body in the Ducsu election.
Besides, some JCD leaders said a long gap has developed between common students and them as they could neither stay in halls nor enter the campus for over the last 12 years while Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL) established its ’unilateral control’ over the country’s premier university.
They, however, believe JCD could have performed far better had the election been held in a free and fair manner. General students said most JCD candidates were not known to them as they were not active on the campus for a long time.
They also think the Quota Reform Movement leaders filled the position of an alternative opposition student body on the DU campus through their strong role in favour of the common students in JCD’s absence.
Under the circumstances, former leaders of the BNP’s student body think JCD must be vigorously overhauled with regular students removing non-student ones for the survival of the organisation and bringing dynamism in it.
In the March-11 elections, JCD vice-president (VP) candidate Mostafizur Rahman got 245 votes while general secretary contender (GS) Anisur Rahman Khandaker 462 and assistant general secretary (AGS) candidate Khorshed Alam Sohel bagged 294 votes though over 25,000 voters cast their votes in the polls. Of the JSD panel members, only its common room and cafeteria affairs secretary Kaneta Yalam got substantial votes of 7,119 and secured second position in the post.
Even, no JCD candidate could obtain any post in any of 18 hall unions while the organisation had only 54 candidates against 234 posts in the halls.
Imam Hossain, a final-year student of Dhaka University’s Mass Communication and Journalism department, said most of the JCD candidates were not known to common students since they had no activities on the campus for a long time.
“Even, they didn’t carry out a good campaign before the voting. Students didn’t get confidence in the JCD candidates that they’ll be able to play any role for them since they’re inactive for the last 10 years. That’s why students kept their trust in the Quota Reform Movement panel as an alternative to JCD,” he observed.
Sanjida Khataun, a 3rd-year student of Dhaka University, said the top leaders of JCD are not students while those who contested the Ducsu polls could not impress the students with their election campaign. “Common students, even those who support BNP, wanted the Quota Reform Movement panel to come out successful as they proved their worth and capability during different movements.”
A DU unit JCD leader, wishing anonymity, said organisation weakness, internal feud, lack of preparation, wrong choice of candidates and lack of focus by BNP and ex-JCD leaders are the main reasons behind their organisation’s frustrating performance in the polls.
He said JCD should now recast its DU committee first and then form the committees of all the hall units to revive the organisation on the DU campus.
Former DUCSU VP and ex-JCD president Amanullah Aman said it will not be wise to judge Chhatra Dal’s strength by the ’manipulated’ results of a ’controversial and flawed’ DUCSU election.
He, however, said it is necessary to recast JCD with the capable leaders to represent the student community. “JCD is BNP’s vanguard. So, I think a vigorous overhauling of the organisation is necessary so that it can restore JCD’s glory by playing an active role on the campuses in protecting common students’ interests.”
EX-JCD president Shamsuzzaman Dudu said the student body would have done better had the election been fair and credible. “What you have got was not the outcome of a real election. It was manipulated one.” He, however, admitted that JCD has organisational weakness for various reasons, including long absence on the campus due to obstruction by Chhatra League.
“Chhatra Dal will have to think whether it has the capacity to lead the Dhaka University students. I personally think current Chhatra Dal has some deficiencies in this regard,” Dudu said.
He suggested immediate reorganisation of the JCD with regular and active students of Dhaka University to strengthen the organisation so that it can play a lead role on the campus in ensuring students’ rights and welfare.