‘No Funds, No Vote’: Students in Assam Threaten to Boycott Lok Sabha Polls

Students at Cotton University in Assam have been sitting outside their college gate since yesterday, March 28, threatening to boycott the Lok Sabha elections if their demands are not met.

According to the Telegraph, the students want the administration to construct hostels for girls and appoint an adequate number of professors. Students say that over 149 teaching posts are lying vacant, which need to be filled immediately.

In addition, they are also demanding the provincialisation of the departments of bachelors of computer application, mass communication and bio-technology.

If that happens, the departments will receive funds from the government. This will bring down the fee structure which is currently very high, the Telegraph reported.

‘My Nation, My Vote, My Issue’

According to the Sentinel Assam (state’s local newspaper), the students, in the ongoing sit-in demonstration, are holding placards saying: ‘My Nation, my vote, my issue’, ‘No teacher, no vote‘ and ‘No hospital, no vote’.

The paper quoted a student saying,”We will vote only for the party who gives us a written document that they will provide funds, along with a blueprint of the works to be done.”

In addition, some students also sat with posters opposing the Citizenship Amendment Bill.

Also read: Student Groups in Mizoram Are Boycotting Republic Day to Protest the Citizenship Bill

Bhrigu Talukdar, an alumnus of the university, said that the students have staged protest against the Bill several times in the past.

A few months back, students at Cotton University had protested against the Citizenship Amendment Bill and slammed the BJP government for passing the Bill in the Lok Sabha on January 8, 2019, the Telegraph reported.

The bill seeks to grant citizenship to persecuted non-Muslim immigrants from Bangladesh, Pakistan and Myanmar even if they don’t have the necessary documents.

According to the Telegraph, this time, the students have decided to boycott the upcoming polls if the candidates don’t include their issues in their electoral agendas.

Featured image credit: Twitter