With elections becoming expensive with each passing year and aspirations of student leaders difficult to deal with, the student parties on the campus are on a spree to distribute posts.
Not a single day passes without any announcement on the campus about various posts. The number of presidents, vice presidents, incharges and chief patrons are puzzling and the question about their role arises, with many people holding the same posts.
For instance, the National Students Union of India (NSUI) has two presidents, one executive president, a chairman, one chief patron, a state president for Panjab University (PU), a party convenor, campus president, party incharge, campus incharge, two general secretaries and a girls wing incharge.
The trend has caught up with all parties now, be it Student Organisation of Panjab University (SOPU) or Panjab University Student Union (PUSU), the old war horses of Panjab University, or any other party.
The leaders blame the new phenomenon on Lyngdoh Commission guidelines implemented in 2006 for holding student elections.
“Earlier, the president of a party would fight the election and the name would be decided in advance, so he would work accordingly. His posters could be seen all around. Now, those who fight elections remain anonymous till the end. So, who will work?” asks Berinder Dhillon, national coordinator of NSUI. Dhillon has seen both the pre Lyngdoh as well as post Lyngdoh face of PU politics.
Be it PUSU, SOPU, NSUI or some new entrant, all parties have posts like chairman, chairman colleges and chief delegate.
The student leaders say there are only four or five key posts. As a result, to please those who come from other parties and those who are influential but have not been accommodated in the main panel, such posts are distributed. The move works for the party as well as the student leader.
A leader from SOPU explains how giving out posts helps the party in many ways.
“The leader, who is given a post, helps the party in funding. He is normally an influential leader so it also satisfies his ego,” he says, adding a student leader would not mind spending a few lakhs for the party if his posters are seen all across the campus and tricity.