Ahead of the Panjab University Campus Student Councils’ (PUCSC) elections, student organisations are planning parties in the name of welcoming new students to woo voters.
After members of the Students Organisation of India (SOI) were accused of organising a freshers’ party for the chemical engineering department on Sunday, a visit by HT team to the Score discotheque, Sector 8, at 4:30pm on Monday revealed that it was followed by a similar party for students of the University Institute of Fashion Designing And Vocational Development (UIFT). The party was organised between 1pm and 5pm. Although the bouncers outside the discotheque claimed that a birthday party was on at the venue, a firstyear student, Vruti, confirmed that it was a party thrown by SOI members. Another student of the department, Shailja, said: “We were sent an invite for the party on WhatsApp.”
Gurdit Dhillon, who reportedly sent the message, however, denied the allegation. “The NSUI had organsied a party for the students of UIFT at Buzz, Sector 17, three days ago. So why would we give another party to them?” he said.
Later, Panjab University Students Union (PUSU) alleged that SOI was taking PU students on a trip to Amritsar.
When HT team visited the south campus around 10:15 pm, two buses parked outside the gate were seen ferrying students of the computer science department to Amritsar. A student confirmed that the trip was organised by SOI.
PUSU press secretary Hardik Ahluwalia said: “It is shameful that SOI is openly taking people on trips. In the morning, NSUI, too, took students for a trip to Kasauli. Votes are being bought openly and authorities are not doing anything.”
SOI, Chandigarh, president Vikramjit Singh Middukhera, however, denied that the party organised any party or took students on a trip.
Earlier, PUSU members had alleged that SOI members took around 100 students on a free trip to Thunder Zone Amusement and Water Park near SAS Nagar. In order to avoid being caught by PU security officials, the students were allegedly asked to assemble outside the campus and were then picked up in cars by SOI members.
Another WhatsApp message that has been doing the rounds revealed that even the NSUI and HSA organised a trip for the chemical engineering department students to Kasauli on Monday.
Harsimran Kalra, who reportedly sent the invite, said: “It was a welcome trip for the freshers organised by the department seniors. It has nothing to do with the NSUI. As it is, I am a very studious person; so, I don’t believe in all these parties.”
DSW Prof Navdeep Goyal said: “It is very unfortunate that such things are happening.”
Inputs from Bhartesh Singh Thakur