As parties stitched up alliances and the final list of candidates for the PU Campus Students' Council (PUCSC) came out on Saturday evening, there remained just one girl in fray for the president's post, that too from an inconsequential party on. Though girls have been off these lists for long - despite being 70% of the voters - there was some hope this time with three girls in fray till the filing of nominations.
But the nominations of two girls fell through - the papers of ABVP (allied with PUSU) candidate were cancelled due to short attendance, while Hindustan Student Association (HSA) sacrificed the president's seat for an alliance with SOPU. Akanksha Sood of the HSA is now fighting for the vice-president's post, on a nomination by alliance leader SOPU and not the party which had announced her as the presidential candidate. PU has never seen a female girl student council president.
Navjot Kaur, the lone girl who has got a chance to fight for the president's post, is from the SFI, which has never won a seat in the student council here. Two years ago when the Leftist party fought the elections, it got miniscule support. "Parties do not field girl candidates as they fear they would lose control. They (girls) do not want to be dictated by others," opined Navjot Kaur.
A top PUSU leader told HT that a big reason why girls are not being fielded is money: "Fighting elections has now become very expensive. Girls do not get that kind of money from home or friends."
Lyngdoh committee guidelines say a candidate cannot spend more than Rs. 5,000.
PUSU campus head defects to NSUI
In a big jolt to PUSU, its campus president, Gur Arinder Minhas turned up at the NSUI tent on Saturday evening and announced that he would support the Congress student wing's candidates. Strangely, he said he had not left PUSU.