The Manjit-Akshaya group defied anti-incumbency by coming back to power pipping their opponent, the Ravi Mahajan-Davinder group, in the Punjab University Teachers' Association elections on Thursday. The winning team secured three of five key positions, including president, vice-president, general secretary, and swept seven seats of executive members out of the total 11 seats contested.
Out of a total of 623 voters in five groups, as many as 576 cast their vote. Mohammed Khalid (Evening Studies) was elected president, defeating his rival Ravi Mahajan by a margin of 59 votes. Khalid polled as many as 310 votes, while Mahajan had to contend with 251 votes.
For the post of vice-president, Amarnath Gill (Statistics) bagged 293 votes, while his competitor Yograj Angrish (Punjabi) got 259 votes. For the important post of general secretary, Jayanti Dutta (Academic Staff College) got the better of Devinder Singh (Laws). Ravi Mahajan-Davinder group managed to seal positions of joint secretary and treasurer, which was won by Anju Rao (Botany) and Parveen Goyal (UIET), respectively.
Elated after being elected president, Khalid thanked the teaching community for supporting their team. "Our team won because of the good work done during the last one year," he said.
The newly elected president assured to fulfill all the promises made by their team. Spelling out his priorities, Khalid said they would press for the recruitment of teachers and will make sure faculty is recruited regularly without any backlog.
Implementation of childcare leave for women employees, leave encashment of superannuating teachers, increase in the retirement age and enforcement of timeline for routine administrative work are the other priorities of the group.
On being asked about getting support from a group of senate, Khalid clarified that they had no support from any senate group and fought the elections on teacher-centric agenda, which helped them win.
Congratulating the rivals for the victory, Ravi Mahajan wished them luck. "I hope they live up to the expectations," said Mahajan. Prof Akshaya Kumar, outgoing president won his executive member seat with the highest votes of 385.
Results at a glance
President: Mohammed Khalid (310 votes)
Vice-president: Amarnath Gill (293)
General secretary: Jayanti Dutta (292)
Joint secretary: Anju Rao (306)
Treasurer: Parveen Goyal (279)
Facts and figures
Number of votes: 623
Votes cast: 576
Women in fray: 13
Women elected: 6
Maximum votes secured ever: Akshaya Kumar (385)
Last year was better
Though the Manjit-Akshaya group has been voted back to power, they had performed better last year. Of the five key positions, the group's score came down this time as compared to last year, when they won four positions and lost the post of vice-president only, that too because their candidate withdrew at the last minute.