Every vote appears to count for student outfits as many of them seem to be attempting to woo foreign students studying on the campus since the beginning of this year.
At 350—150 on PU campus and 350 studying in colleges across the city—these students, mainly from Afganistan, Bangladesh, Iran and some students in colleges from African countries, form a small part of the voter base. However, they have the potential to swing votes. Therefore, outfits have been offering their assistance to these students.
Roman Khan, a student of public administration, also from Afghanistan explains how they were wooed by various student bodies.
“Suppose a senior PUSU leader is from my department. He would approach me and other students in the group through me. They know foreign students are a close-knit circle and would vote for a one particular group, “says Khan. As a matter of practice, students from same country have their own leader and vote for the same student outfit.
On their part, foreign students are politically aware: those who have lived in the city for 3-4 years not only know what outfits have to offer but also whom to approach in times of need.
A PG student from Afghanistan who took admission to PU’s department of public administration this year, Milad Sadat, explains thus: “Whenever I faced a problem, I would call up an NSUI leader who was my classmate. He would always depute a person to help me out.”
Foreign students say voting for these elections would be an enriching experience.
“Last year I voted for NSUI. I was in touch with some NSUI leaders. While I have not made up my mind yet for this year’s polls, PUSU has been approaching our circle very often, “says Amina Dilaram, a student of department of English.
The festivities seen on campus during polls, they say, are memorable.
“It has been a good experience. The campus is abuzz with activities. The campaigns, zooming vehicles with student leaders, and more importantly female students’ involvement in the process is amazing,” said Mariam Sahrabi, an Iraniani student from PU’s department of education.