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Friday, Aug 23, 2019

Panjab University student elections to be held on September 7

UT administration writes to DGP who has further sent a letter to the V-C, announcement likely today, poll code to follow

punjab Updated: Aug 29, 2017 09:37 IST
Ifrah Mufti
Ifrah Mufti
Hindustan Times, Chandigarh

The Panjab University Campus Students Council (PUCSC) will go to the polls on September 7.

Amid speculations of postponement, the UT administration has written to the Chandigarh director general of police (DGP) — responsible for the peaceful conduct of polls — to schedule the elections on September 7.

A senior UT officer confirmed the date late on Monday evening.

The DGP has further written to the PU vice-chancellor (V-C) to conduct the elections on September 7, instead of September 8. HT has its copy. However, the university officials said they will announce the date after receiving the letter, likely on Tuesday.

The students elections were held on September 7 last year too. The Panjab University Students’ Union (PUSU) had swept the polls in 2016, in alliance with the National Students Union of India Students Front (NSUISF).

Along with the varsity, all 11 private and government colleges affiliated to it will also hold the elections the same day.

“As soon as we get the administration’s letter in our hand, we will inform all colleges about it and announce the schedule with regards to the nominations and election guidelines,” said PU dean, students’ welfare (DSW), Emanual Nahar. “We will impose the code of conduct on the campus after the official announcement.”

The DSW said nominations are likely to take place on August 31 or September 1, if the elections are announced on Tuesday, as there is holiday on September 2.

Nahar said as admissions are still on, around 14,000 students have been enrolled in various departments on the campus so far, and they will be eligible to vote.

“Those students who don’t get their identity cards by the day of election will be allowed to vote after showing their fee receipt or letter from their respective department,” he said.

‘Will ensure peaceful elections’

 PU chief security officer Ashwani Koul said his team is already prepared as the election date could have been announced any day.

“We expect the student parties to maintain law and order and follow the Lyngdoh panel recommendations,” he said. “If they don’t, we will act as per rules. We will take the UT police’s help, not to hinder the students’ activities, but to ensure peace is maintained.”

Koul said only those who have to cast their vote and are involved in electioneering will be allowed to enter the campus.

Senior superintendent of police (SSP) Nilambari Jagadale, who recently joined office, said: “We were quite occupied with dera chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim’ case. Security arrangements in place will remain in the coming week too, but we will also keep an eye on developments at PU.”

The SSP said her department will try its best to ensure the elections take place in a peaceful and cordial atmosphere.

“Our aim will be to make sure that everything goes smoothly and nothing harms the sanctity of the educational institute,” she said.

The colleges that will go the polls along with PU are MCM DAV College, Sector 36; DAV College, Sector 10; SD College, Sector 32; Dev Samaj College, Sector 45; Post Graduate Government College for Girls (PGGCG), Sector 11; PGGC, Sector 11; PGGCG, Sector 42; PGGC, Sector 46; Sri Guru Gobind Singh College, Sector 26; Guru Gobind Singh College for Women, Sector 26; and Government College of Commerce and Business Administration, Sector 50.

SOI wants date to be moved ahead

While most of student bodies expressed satisfaction over the election date, the Students’ Organisation of India (SOI) submitted a memorandum to the DSW, requesting the authorities to postpone the date.

“For the past four days, students have not returned to the campus,” said SOI state president. Vicky Middhukhera said poor attendance was witnessed on Monday too even as the university reopened after being shut owing to the dera chief verdict.

“Students are likely to return tomorrow, but we don’t have much time to campaign,” he said.

First Published: Aug 29, 2017 09:32 IST

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