Chaos prevailed in the general body meeting of retired employees of Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) here on Monday, as members of two factions reportedly had scuffle at the Pal auditorium during an election of office bearers of the PAU Pensioners' Welfare Association.
The brawl resulted in formation of another organisation - parallel to the Pensioners' Welfare Association - claiming to represent interests of the university pensioners.
While the meeting of the association was in progress to elect the new body, some of the senior members of the association led by Jila Ram Bansal and former president of PAU Employees' Union DP Maur objected to the alleged undemocratic functioning of the association and its failure to take up issues concerning pensioners.
Bansal alleged that the term of the elected office bearers of the association was one year, but the office bearers were occupying their posts for over two years. Opposing the method of electing the new body by way of raising hands, Bansal demanded secret voting through ballot.
Later, the Bansal and Maur faction announced the formation of a new PAU pensioner's body - PAU Pensioner's Welfare Forum, and Bansal was elected as convener of the newly formed body.
Bansal alleged that some of the office bearers of the association were resorting to undemocratic methods to keep others at bay from the affairs of the association. He further alleged that the present executive failed to ensure payment of arrears due to revision of pay scales, payment of gratuity, providing medical facilities, setting up a pensioners' cell, medical insurance and medical facilities to the retired employees.
On the other hand, incumbent president of the association Sukhdev Singh said that some members tried to disrupt the election proceedings of the association taking place after the completion of the term of two years.
“As per the procedure, the election of the body is conducted thorough raising hands,” he claimed.
Slamming the formation of the new body, Singh said those opposing the incumbent executive, and had formed a new body did not have support of the majority of pensioners.
“The newly formed organisation has no locus standi, as the house has elected the present body for the next term unanimously,” Singh claimed.