Ashok Goyal and his group won five of the six seats that were up for grabs in the first phase of the senate elections at Panjab University. In the face of the dominance, the other main group's leader, GK Chatrath, managed to win from the law faculty segment.
Goyal himself won from the combined faculty segment, with a margin of 90 votes, a margin that is being spoken of as a record. "I will use the senate as a platform to take up the issues concerning all," he told HT.
Among the first timers, it was only Prof Rajesh Gill contesting from the arts faculty who made it by defeating Prof Emannual Nahar with a narrow margin of five votes.
Another significant victory was that of Prof Naval Kishore from the science faculty; he defeated Prof Rajat Sandhir with a margin of 20 votes. After his fallout with Chatrath, Prof Naval Kishore had particularly been the target for his former group. "My victory has said it all," Prof Naval Kishore said after the victory.
A distressed Chatrath could be seen taking out his anger on his own group: "Had they (the group members) not joined hands with the opposition, we would have won all seats."
The second phase to elect three candidates from among college principals and three lecturers from technical education to the 91-member body would be held on September 10. While a number of members are ex-officio, 49 are to be elected. In the third phase, two professors and two lecturers/readers from arts and science faculty would be elected on September 17. The final phase for 31 seats would be held on September 23, when 15 members would be elected from the graduate constituency and eight college principals and eight college lecturers. Two MLAs are also elected for membership from among the Punjab state assembly members.
Wednesday's elections started at 9 in the morning and continued till 6.30pm. Chandigarh MP and a senator himself, Pawan Kumar Bansal voted for three faculties, including law, languages and combined faculty. Bansal said, "Education should be kept away from politics, and teachers should concentrate on their basic duty, which is to teach."
Senior BJP leader Satya Pal Jain also cast his vote.
Total votes: 89 - Cast and valid: 77
Rajesh Gill: 41
Emannual Nahar: 36
Total votes: 111 - Cast and valid: 98
Keshav Malhotra: 61
Janmit Singh: 37
Total votes: 37 - Cast and valid: 32
GK Chatrath: 23
Davesh Moudgil: 9
Total votes: 101 - Cast and valid: 92
Naval Kishore: 56
Rajat Sandhir: 36
Total votes: 232 - Cast and valid: 210
Ashok Goyal: 150
RK Pathak: 60
Total votes: 74 - Cast and valid: 67
Dr K Gauba: 44
Dr AS Ahluwalia: 23