The election to seize control of Panjab University Syndicate on Monday is expected to be a keenly contested affair between groups led by stalwarts Gopal Krishan Chatrath and Ashok Goyal.
The executive administration of the university is vested in the syndicate which consists of vice-chancellor as chairman; director of public instruction (Punjab and Chandigarh); not less than 12 or more than 15 ex-officio or ordinary fellows elected by the faculties in such manner and for such period as may be prescribed by the regulations.
Three members each are elected from arts, science and combined faculties and two each from languages, law and medical sciences.
Though both groups contend that they are poised to win, a lot depends on how they perform in the science and combined faculties, which have three seats each.
The Goyal group is expected to do well in the medical sciences and language faculties having two seats each, while Chatrath has strong hold over law and arts faculties having two and three seats, respectively.
The group led by Chatrath is supported by the DAV and Satya Pal Jain lobby while Ashok Goyal is backed by a faction led by Dr Hardiljit Singh Gosal.
Both groups enjoy the support of different factions of faculty members on campus.
In the previous elections, the Chatrath group had defeated their rivals by securing as many as eight out of the 15 seats that they had contested.
The Goyal group had to contend with only seven seats.
Since the announcement of the election dates, members of both the groups have been involved in sustained lobbying, which continued till Sunday evening.
What suits PU authorities?
With the first term of incumbent vice-chancellor (V-C) Arun Kumar Grover coming to an end in July next year, authorities would hope that the Chathrath group continues have the upper hand.
The Goyal group, which was in majority in 2012-13, had made things difficult for the authorities by openly criticising the functioning of the varsity.
Some of its members had also boycotted syndicate meetings. The group also raked up the issue of the appointment and extension of the V-C’s wife. On the contrary, the V-C enjoyed a comparatively easy term in 2014 with continued support from the Chathrath group.
According to insiders, with the V-C eying a second term, authorities would like to enjoy the support of the syndicate and senate members and would want to stay away from unwanted confrontations over any issue.
DUI in poll fray
Dean of university instructions (DUI) AK Bhandari has also thrown his hat in the ring: he will be contesting from the combined faculty for the Goyal group.