‘Trained’ student leaders ready for big fight

  • Surender Sharma, Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
  • Updated: Aug 25, 2014 11:11 IST

Mock question-answer sessions, dressing tips and speeches with precise scripts. No, these are not training sessions for job interviews. These are, in fact, a part of over a month-long programme by various political bodies functioning at Panjab University in preparation for the upcoming student body elections.

As the stage is set for the biggest political event at Panjab University, dates of which are expected to be announced anytime now, campaigning at PU will take off this week. Most parties have 3-4 teams comprising 20-30 students, with at least two good orators in their teams to campaign in classes, which are scheduled to start this week. With PU yet to permit open house debates on the campus, classroom campaigns has become an important part of the electioneering in the last few years.

“There will be three core teams with strength of 15-20 people, who have been given tips on how to campaign. We have collected all the details of issues taken up by us during the year and failures of student council. All the speakers have been trained so that there are no goof ups,” said Prabhjit Karamuwalia, a leader of one of Student Organisation PU factions, who would be leading one group himself.

With female students forming over 70% of PU’s student population, at least 50% of the campaign team of most student bodies is girl students.

Some parties have even ensured that girl students are their main speakers.

“In these elections, university will give only ten minutes for campaigning in classes. It’s crucial to train student leaders accordingly. Therefore, we have to choosen best. From their clothing to body language and how to start speeches, everything is taught to them,” said National Students Union of India (NSUI) national coordinator Berinder Dhillon who will oversee the student body’s campaign.

Many parties took to giving welcome speeches at the start of the session to test the skills of the campaigners.

Student Organisation of India leader Vicky Middukhera says, “We train speakers to handle difficult situations. For instance, if the main speaker is unable to handle a question, others pitch in. This is done in a subtle manner, so students do not judge us.”

NSUI leader, 3 others for defacing public property

Chandigarh: The police on Sunday registered a total of four cases of defacement in the city. In the first incident, the police booked Parvinder Singh Jandpuriya, an NSUI leader under the Prevention of Defacement to Property Act. His party posters were pasted in the Sector 40 market. Prof AK Tyagi was also booked whose posters were pasted in Sector 41 market. In another incident, the police registered a case against unknown person whose posters were pasted in the Sector 37 market.

SOPU leader accuses SOI activists of trying to assault him

Amninder Singh, a student leader and president of one of the factions of Student Organisation of Panjab University (SOPU), has alleged that some SOI leaders had attempted to assault him on Sunday afternoon. In his complaint to the police, Singh said some SOI activists Sewa Singh Judge and Prabhjit Karamuwalia , among others, came to him while he was preparing for an interview with a local TV channel, and tried to assault him. Judge and Karamuwalia have recently been appointed office bearers of SOPU’s second faction. The police are yet to register an FIR in the case. The rival party denied Singh’s allegations.

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