Student parties' promises of complying with election guidelines came to a naught at Panjab University (PU) here on Monday afternoon.
Giving two hoots to all poll norms, most student parties - including PU Students' Union (PUSU), Students' Organisation of PU (SOPU) and National Students' Union of India (NSUI) - resorted to sloganeering at University Institute of Engineering and Technology (UIET) during the lunch hours on Monday, almost three hours after campaigning for student council elections ended.
The NSUI held a rally in which, apart from sloganeering, thousands of blue-coloured (NSUI's colour) pieces of paper were thrown in the air, and some students threw dry blue colour from top of the UIET building. Commotion followed as supporters of PUSU and SOPU objected to the stunt. The three groups came face-to-face and started sloganeering.
A PU official said the NSUI had been given permission to hold a rally on September2 around 15 days ago. The permission, however, was not revised after Lyngdoh guidelines on student elections came into force after the announcement of the date of elections.
The sloganeering continued for over 20 minutes. Later, parties retracted after police intervention. Police did not use force. There were reports of most student political parties resorting to classroom visits, and sloganeering in some departments in the afternoon, though the time for campaigning ended at 9:45 am on Monday.
PU dean (students welfare) Navdeep Goyal said the time slot given to NSUI was allotted fifteen days ago. “It was before Lyngdoh guidelines came into force last week. But it was not revised. They were stopped when we came to know of the incident,” he said. :”Action will be taken.”
NSUI campus president Manoj Lubana blamed the university administration for what he described as a goof up: "They knew we have been allotted time of September 2. They should have changed it. All other parties have held rallies there. We were left out."