On campus, money is the name of game
The battle to wrest control of the Panjab University Campus Students' Council (PUCSC) has become such a high-stakes game that the per-party budget touches Rs 15 lakh. Ht has reliably learnt from student leaders - who routinely dub the Rs 5,000 per candidate limit as impractical - that the Lyngdoh Committee recommendations remain on paper. Rivals otherwise, together against Lyngdoh guidelineschandigarh Updated: Sep 02, 2013 10:47 IST
The battle to wrest control of the Panjab University Campus Students' Council (PUCSC) has become such a high-stakes game that the per-party budget touches Rs 15 lakh. Ht has reliably learnt from student leaders - who routinely dub the Rs 5,000 per candidate limit as impractical - that the Lyngdoh Committee recommendations remain on paper.
The budget includes trips to the nearby hills, free lunches, discotheque visits and tickets to movie shows, besides the stickers, posters and the transportation during the campaign. All major parties resort to these tactics of money power, mirroring the sad reality of national politics.
University students on their arrival from uphill trip organised by PUSU
With student wings of national parties re-emerging - Congress's NSUI, Left's SFI and, to an extent, the ABVP of BJP - besides the traditional rivals SOPU and PUSU, the game has gone up a notch."The expenditure used to be Rs 5-6 lakh till last year but, given the kind of offers some national parties are making, our budget will touch Rs 10 lakh," a top leader of PUSU said.
Karan Chautala brought a hummer on campus
In a news report recently, NSUI campus head Manoj Lubana was quoted as saying that the party had taken on rent Audis and BMWs for Rs 50,000 each for 15 days. When contacted by HT, he said, "I won't comment on that. All I would say is that the Lyngdoh guidelines are impractical."
Most parties blame the NSUI, re-launched at PU last year by Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi, for the "show-off and extravagance". A leader from NSUI reacted, "Well, the budget has gone up indeed. But it was in lakhs already, you know."
In fact, a SOPU leader said one reason behind alliance politics dominating the campus was to get the means to contain national student party wings. "They (national party wings) have patronage. They get funds from their leaders and the party as well. We generate money from our office-bearers and old-timers. We have started feeling the pinch," a SOPU leader said, adding that the rising expenditure has threatened the existence of non-political outfits on the campus. "This is one of the reasons why girls are not given the ticket. Generation of funds is the candidate's responsibility, and girls do not get the required kind of backing from home and friends," said another leader.
But PUSU state president Sukhjit Brar went on record: "Students have become very demanding. Why don't they vote for those who do not give out these doles? All are to be blamed."