Panjab University student polls: It’s Jashan for NSUI, SFS left out | punjab | Hindustan Times
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Panjab University student polls: It’s Jashan for NSUI, SFS left out

Congress student wing bags three top posts; Jashan Kamboj beats SFS’ Hassanpreet

punjab Updated: Sep 08, 2017 10:43 IST
HT Correspondent
Students celebrating NSUI’s victory after the results were declared on September 7.
Students celebrating NSUI’s victory after the results were declared on September 7.(HT Photo)

The National Students Union of India (NSUI) has won three posts of Panjab University’s student polls, the results of which were declared on Thursday. Jashan Kamboj of the NSUI, who was elected as the president, won by 611 votes. The post of vice-president and general secretary was also won by the NSUI candidates.

NSUI was earlier leading on the president’s post with 2,019 votes. The SFS, which was leading initially, but was later trailing at 1,665, while Panjab University Students’ Union (PUSU), an old-timer, was trailing at 1,156.

The PUSU-led alliance had swept the polls in 2016 but is faction-ridden this time. Ironically, the party had made an alliance with a faction of the NSUI — NSUISF — last year. This time, however, both the NSUI factions got reunited and the Congress student wing, which stood fourth last year, was among the front-runners this time.

This time, 15,602 students on campus were eligible to vote and decided the fate of 28 candidates vying for the four posts of president, vice-president, secretary and joint secretary of Panjab University Campus Students’ Council (PUCSC). The multi-cornered contest had seven students fighting for the post of president, four for vice-president, eight for secretary and nine for joint secretary.

All eyes were on budding engineers and lawyers who comprise majority of the vote bank. The University Institute of Engineering and Technology has 2,484 students while the University Institute of Legal Studies and the Department of Laws have a combined strength of 2,533 students.

(From left) SOI-SOPU’s presidential candidate Harman Singh Lubana, ABVP’s Avinash Pandey, SFS candidate Hassanpreet, SFI’s Davinder Singh and NSUI’s Jashan Kamboj at the Panjab University in Chandigarh on Wednesday, the poll eve. (Karun Sharma/HT)

Wide reach

Since PU has a large number of students from neighbouring states of Punjab, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh, the choice of the youth resonates far and wide. In recent times it was for the first time that ABVP, student wing of the BJP, had fielded a candidate for the post of president at PU. The BJP is leading a government at Centre, and in Haryana, but it recently went out of power in Punjab. In Himachal, it is hoping to form the government on the back of anti-incumbency against the Congress regime.

Main contenders

The main contest was between the two alliances led by the National Students Union of India (NSUI) and Panjab University Students Union (PUSU) and two independent bodies — Students for Society (SFS) and Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP). The ABVP was contesting on the post of president only.

The NSUI was leading an alliance of six organisations, the others being Gandhi Group Students Union (GGSU), Himachal Students Union (HIMSU), Hindustan Students Association (HSA) and factions of PUSU — PUSU for Students and National Students Organisation (NSO).

While the NSUI had fielded the lone woman candidate — Siya Minocha — on the post of president last year, this time SFS has done the same. The SFS, which lost the previous presidential election by a narrow margin, is contesting on all the four posts this time. It’s last year’s candidate was leading in the north campus but witnessed a sudden decline in the south campus, giving a lead to Students Organisation of India (SOI).

This year, the SOI had join hands with the Students Organisation of Panjab University (SOPU) and others.