With student council elections at Panjab University (PU) and its affiliated colleges closing in, the student leaders are leaving no stone unturned to woo maximum students. Food diplomacy is at its peak as student leaders are taking ‘group leaders’ from different departments out for lunch or dinner to the choicest eateries in the city. The occasion is exploited to the fullest to convince the ‘guests’ why they should vote for a particular alliance.
The student leaders inform that while the first preference was to forge alliances, the focus now is on canvassing. One of the student leaders said, “This year there are many parties contesting the elections which has made the competition tough. We identify popular group leaders from different departments and invite them for lunch or dinner where we convince them to vote for us.”
The choice of food joint depends upon the number of votes a particular group leader can influence.
National Students Union of India (NSUI) leader Brinder Dhillon said, “The meetings generally continue till wee hours, sometimes even till the sunrise. There is no time to eat or sleep. I must admit that out supporters, including girls, are available at any time of the day or even at night.
As far as lunch and dinner diplomacy is concerned, everyone knows that this is being done by new parties.”
Everything from money to might is being put in use to win the said elections. The leaders inform that providing freebies is an old thing now and voters have grown smart, because of which they need to be persuaded hard to vote for a particular party.
Dinesh, an ABVP leader, adds, “It is not about lunch or dinner diplomacy but we generally eat with students and others supporting us. I think, dining table is the best place to discuss politics.”
Student leaders say that though the tiresome routine takes a toll on their health, but the elections mean so much to them that they don’t care. NSUI leader Manoj Lubana says that the taste of victory makes them forget all the pain they go through.