Whistle-stop tours, strategy planning, group meetings, late-night campaigning were the highlights of Monday evening on the Panjab University campus. This was the last day of campaigning for the student council elections.
The campus was alive even at around 9pm when HT took a tour inside PU.
Senior leaders of Panjab University Students Union (PUSU) were addressing supporters and requesting them to not to sleep for two days and work hard for victory in their campaign tent.
According to the Lyngdoh guidelines, parties will not be allowed to hold any campaign on the campus or in hostels on September 6, a day before the elections.
Late-night campaigning in hostels
“Friends, do not sleep for two days. Work as much as you can. Go around the campus. Go to the departments. Visit the hostels. Meet your supporters and ensure votes but make sure that you do not indulge in any mischief to earn a vote. We have to be transparent and get an honest victory,” said one of the PUSU leaders.
Students Organisation of India (SOI) spokesperson Babalpreet Singh said, “We usually begin with campaigning at around 6pm and finish at around 8pm. We hold group meetings in out tent after we come back, having assigned teams in hostels. Till around 10pm, we are free to sit inside tents but after that police order us to disperse. This is when we start campaigning in the hostels again.”
Another senior leader from Akhil BharatiyaVidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) said they call a meeting inside their tent at around 8pm and representatives from all departments share their feedback on how many students were willing to vote for them.
“We want to ensure our votes from each department, so we make this effort daily,” he said.
Indian National Students Organisation (INSO) leader Rana Dhaka said, “Having meals is secondary for at least these two crucial days. At times, we ask somebody to get food for all of us from the Student Centre and at times, we go in groups to have our meals and come back.”
The situation was similar in the girls’ hostels where representatives were campaigning for three hours. SOI leader Arshdeep Kaur said, “We begin door-todoor campaigning from 6pm onwards, followed by the second session after dinner.”On September 6, the parties will not be allowed to hold any campaigns on the campus or in hostels as per the Lynghdoh guidelines.
Night patrolling inside University
Late on Monday, the security with the help of police initiated night patrolling on the campus by closing all three gates and restricting the entry of the cars without student stickers. A total of 70 cars that were already inside the campus and did not have PU stickers were sent back after which all the three gates were barricaded. All the cars were thoroughly checked by police.
Chief security officer Jatinder Grover had issued directions to security to close all the gates by 10pm and to not let any vehicle without a PU sticker to enter the campus.
Traffic jams during late hours
Roads inside PU were chock-a-block with traffic from 9am to 10pm on Monday. In the first half, the traffic jam took place because of the student rallies and later because of the barricading of all three gates and the strict checking of vehicles.