The All India Students Association (AISA) and the National Students' Union of India (NSUI) have demanded re-election for the post of president of Delhi University Students Union (DUSU) after ABVP’s Ankiv Baisoya stepped down on charges of enrolling for a Master’s programme in the university with an alleged fake bachelor’s degree.
At a press conference here on Friday, both the organisations also demanded action against Baisoya on charges of forgery.
On Thursday evening, Baisoya resigned from his post after the RSS-affiliated Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) relieved him of all responsibilities till the Delhi University completed the verification process.
In a Facebook post, Baisoya said he was resigning as DUSU president because he respected the mandate of Delhi University students who voted for him.
Alleging deliberate delay by the university administration, Sumit Kataria, Students' Federation of India (SFI) Delhi vice-president told Newsclick, "Despite Thiruvalluvar University’s clarification that Ankiv Baisoya did not do his bachelor’s from their university, the process of removing him from the position of president was delayed without cause. The Lyngdoh Committee Report states that re-election can only happen within the first two months from the date of the declaration of election result if the candidate is found to be ineligible to contest for the post or if a post fell vacant due to any reason. The two-month mark passed on the November 12 and still no action has been taken against Baisoya by the university. Also, the administration tried to delay the entire process of inquiry.”
Kataria further added, "The ABVP asked Ankiv to resign on moral grounds only after the expiry of this two-month period in an attempt to retain DUSU presidentship. The vice-president, also from ABVP, will now automatically become the president,” adding that the DU Vice-Chancellor chose to play along by keeping silent in favour ABVP.
“The lukewarm response from the Delhi University administration has made a mockery of the democratic processes of Delhi University and the democratic rights of the students,” Kataria said.
It my be noted that NSUI and other student organisations had started raising questions on Baisoya's degree the moment ABVP won three out of four posts in the DUSU elections held in September.
"This is clearly a decision taken under pressure, not on principles, given the inordinate delay by ABVP in taking action and in the light of the upcoming High Court order on the November 20, when it is near certain that Ankiv would have been disqualified anyway. This is a sorry face-saving attempt by ABVP," AICC Joint Secretary and NSUI in-charge, Ruchi Gupta said in a press release.
She said ABVP "ably supported by a supine DU administration" waited for two months in an attempt to retain DUSU presidentship, instead of asking Basoiya to step down when the matter came to light.
The Left-backed AISA also said that the suspension came very late, after the 60 days' time period for re-election was over.
"Even if Ankiv Baisoya resigns, ABVP will still retain the president's post as Shakti Singh, the current DUSU vice-president, who has been known to unleash violence on students of Zakir Hussain College, will take the position," AISA said.
"Now that the post of president in DU is vacant after Ankiv Baisoya has resigned, the DU administration must immediately call for fresh elections as Baisoya's admission was itself based on false claims and his studentship stands null and void. If DU refuses to do this then it only goes to show that it is only acting under the thumb of BJP-RSS," AISA leader, Kawalpreet Kaur told Newsclick.
On Monday, the Delhi High Court gave the university time till November 20 to verify the authenticity of Baisoya's bachelor’s degree from a university in Tamil Nadu. The two-month period, within which a re-election can be held, ended on November 13.