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HindustanTimes Thu,18 Sep 2014

Student bodies take to issue-based protests to woo prospective voters

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times  Chandigarh, August 22, 2014
First Published: 10:54 IST(22/8/2014) | Last Updated: 10:57 IST(22/8/2014)

With student council polls around the corner at Panjab University(PU), protests seem to have become the most convenient tool to gain mileage and woo prospective voters.

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On Wednesday, as the female members of National Student Union of India (NSUI) sat on hunger strike outside Sarojani hostel, demanding better facilities, those from the Student Organisation of India (SOI) and Gandhian Group Student Union (GGSU) also reached the spot and simultaneously began a protest. It was following this that NSUI and GGSU members entered into a verbal spat with each other. In fact, NSUI leaders reportedly even thrashed a couple of GGSU members. The outcome of this argument led to another scene on the campus on Thursday when students from GGSU smashed vehicles of NSUI members.

With poll fever catching up, members of various student bodies are keen to highlight their own set of concerns and thereby hold protests over different issues. NSUI leader Manoj Lubana said, “The parties which came into formation only very recently are not aware of the issues that concern the students here.

Therefore, all they do is follow our path and that of other prominent parties to lodge protest more or less on the same issues as we do. This is the main reason behind the various arguments that crop up.” On the other hand, PU authorities have no mechanism in place to stop these protests, either.Meanwhile, supporters of the Student Organisation of India (SOI) locked the pharmacy department, pushing for improvement in the existing facilities. This issue was earlier raised by NSUI, who had protested on similar issues. Infact, various parties have been raising the same issues time and again making it a regular practice during the student elections at PU.

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