On the surface, new faces might appear to be contesting and winning Panjab University’s (PU) student elections, but behind closed doors, the real power still rests in the hands of student leaders who had passed out of university long ago. The presence of old leaders continues to dominate student bodies as they not only take strategic decisions, but also decide campus panels.
National Students’ union
For the National Students Union of India (NSUI), Brinder Dhillon and Dalvir Goldy continue to call shots when it comes to varsity’s elections. 31-year-old Dhillion, who had passed out of PU in 2011, continues to have a major say in NSUI’s functioning on the campus. “Earlier, I was busy with Youth Congress elections. Now, I am back,”said the president of the Youth Congress from the Anandpur Lok Sabha seat. Dhillon was the president of the Students Oragnisation of Panjab University (SOPU) for 2008 and 2009 but jumped ship to NSUI in 2012. “When Rahul Gandhi came here in October 2012, I joined NSUI. And in 2013, we created history as NSUI came to power,”he said.
Commenting on why he couldn’t keep distance from campus politics, Dhillon, who played an instrumental role in deciding NSUI’s campus panel, said the second rung of leadership had failed to come up due to certain election guidelines. Echoing Dhillon’s view, general secretary of the Punjab Youth Congress Dalvir Singh Goldy, who had won the 2006 PU-campus student council elections, said “The new leadership failed to emerge after Lyngdoh guidelines. These rules are implemented to snatch power from real leaders like us.”
Student Organisation of India
Twenty Seven-year-old president of Chandigarh Student Organisation of India (SOI) Vikramjit Singh Middukhera played a key role in deciding SOI’s campus panel. Vikramjit who was SOPU president in 2010 believed that it was important that veterans of student elections looked out for the new batch of political leaders. “The students who are known to work for students’ welfare have been chosen. We have to do some hand holding and there is trust in our name; that is why we are here,”said Vikramjit, who is currently pursuing a diploma in French.
The current Malwa zone president of SOI Robin Brar, 28, has also been doubling up as SOI’s election in-charge for student elections.
Commenting on why he solely wasn’t focusing on state politics, the 2011- PU-pass out who was also Panjab University Campus Students Council president said, “We have been involved in students’ politics for the last seven to eight years. It is a party election and we have to contribute. We want to make the party strong.”