The elections to Panjab University Campus Students’ Council and campus councils in its affiliated colleges in Chandigarh will be held on September 5.
The Panjab University on Wednesday announced the poll schedule (in the box) following a go ahead from the union Territory administration.
Announcing the poll schedule, dean student welfare (DSW) Navdeep Goyal came out with a slew of measures to curb violence and use of unfair means during the elections.
The university has done away with the practice of allotting tents in the names of parties and they would now be allotted to the candidates. By doing so, the university will be able to catch violators as for any offence reported at a tent, the candidate concerned would be solely responsible.
In another measure, the university would appoint observers to keep a track on the use of money by candidates.
The university though did not accept the demand of increasing the polling time, it tried to make the elections a credible exercise. The parties and candidates would at least get seven days for campaigning.
The university refused to increase the upper limit of spending and kept it at `5000, as fixed by the Lyngdoh Commission. Instead, it tightened the noose around candidates and has decided that a minimum fixed sum would be added in their election expenses used for putting up tents.
The university has decided to disqualify candidates found guilty of disturbing academic activity. However, they would get 5-10 minutes at the beginning or end of the class till the time of elections.
Goyal also said the university was considering making certain areas no-vehicle zones till the time of elections. However, final decision would be taken after a meeting convened with student parties on Thursday.
The university has also decided that neither the candidates nor the student parties would be allowed to put up posters. “We will check poster violations on a daily basis and FIRs would be registered. Already 50 students have been booked by the police for defacement on PU’s recommendation,” Goyal added. The University refused to introduce NOTA as an option and stated that it was not possible as polling was done using ballots.
However, Goyal expressed the university’s helplessness in controlling the outsiders’ involvement in the polls and stated that loopholes in the system were being exploited by parties in this regard. “We have struck off names of three students for remaining absent in the past. But there are loopholes in the system being exploited by the student leaders. As an educational institution, we cannot deny admission to anybody,” he said, admitting that the departments had been lax on the students.
Also read : PUTA concerned over violence at PU