Freebies failed to make any material impact
Student political parties might have focused on sending trips to hill stations, discotheques nights and fresher parties, the students at the Panjab University Campus Students' Council elections seem to have voted for all.
An analysis of the data provided by PU shows that even in the departments like the University Institute of Engineering and Technology (UIET), University Institute of Legal Studies (UILS) and SS Bhatnagar University Institute of Chemical Engineering and Technology where National Students Union of India (NSUI), Student Organisation of India and Panjab University Student Union (PUSU) splurged a lot to get votes, Students For Society (SFS) got a considerable number of votes.
At the SS Bhatnagar UICET, SFS candidate Amandeep Kaur got 215 votes of 594 votes polled, the highest among contestants.
Interestingly, the students at the same departments were caught by PU authorities, while they were being taken for a lunch and movie show in the city by a student party. Officials say students felt humiliated on being caught as teachers of the department were also called on the spot and the media and the police.
Even in UIET with largest number of voters winning candidate, Divyanshu Bhdhiraja secured 469 votes, the runner-up, Rachit Duggal of the SOI got 533 votes and the SFS candidate received 154 votes. Both Budhiraja and Rachit are from the UIET. Traditionally, students vote overwhelmingly in favour of those from their departments.
"A large number of students have voted for girl candidates. The SFS candidate got around 500 votes from girls. The myth being propagated for years that girl candidates are not voted for has been belied. SFS was unconventional in its politics and fielding a girl candidate did help it," an official said, citing the example of Pooja Sharma of Himachal Pradesh Students' Union (HPSU) who secured 546 votes and another candidate of SOPU (Mann group) Divyajot Sandhu, who polled 541 votes.