KATHMANDU, Mar 1: The Free Student Union (FSU) elections are set to be held only at a few campuses affiliated to Tribhuvan University (TU) today as most of the university's constituent as well as affiliated colleges remain padlocked.
TU has 60 constituent campuses while more than 1,000 colleges including community colleges across the country are affiliated to it, according to TU authorities. More than 350,000 students are the possible voters in the FSU polls.
The FSU polls are significant for the 60 big constituent campuses of TU in the Kathmandu Valley and outside. However, only two constituent campuses in the valley will see the elections today, according to student unions.
“Almost all big campuses remain padlocked,” said Sudip Sharma, spokesman for All Nepal National Free Students Union (ANNFSU), affiliated to the CPN-UML. “The polls are unlikely to be held at the big campuses,” he added.
Student unions have nominated their candidates for the polls only at 14 campuses including in the valley. Out of them, four campuses were padlocked after the nominations. “FSU elections will be held only at two big campuses - Pulchowk and Thapathali engineering campuses on Wednesday, that too if they are not padlocked before the polls,” said Sharma.
Meanwhile, FSUs have been unanimously elected in 45 small community and affiliated campuses outside the valley. Among them, ANNFSU has won vital posts in 19 campuses, All Nepal National Independent Union-Revolutionary in 12 campuses and Nepal Students' Union (NSU) in nine campuses.
The student union affiliated to the CPN (Maoist) led by Netra Bikram Chand, NSU affiliated to the Nepali Congress and student unions affiliated to the Madhes-based parties including Federal Socialist Forum Nepal have padlocked the campuses.
Nominations for the polls were made only at the Sanothimi Campus, Public Administration Campus, Institute of Medicine (IOM) and Nursing campus Maharajgunj, Koteshwor Campus and Pulchowk Engineering Campus on Saturday. But Sanothimi Campus remains padlocked after arson on Tuesday.
Meanwhile, the student unions have agreed to hold the FSU polls at Shankar Dev Campus in Kathmandu on March 6.
A meeting of the student unions and TU authorities on February 16 decided to hold the FSU polls on March 1, which was earlier scheduled for February 25.
The last FSU polls were held eight years ago against the provision of holding them every two years.