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Panjab University students to ballot it out today

There are a total of 21 candidates vying for the posts of president, vice-president, general secretary and joint secretary, with six in the fray for the top post, including a girl candidate from the Students for Society.

punjab Updated: Sep 06, 2018 09:08 IST
Arshdeep Arshi
Arshdeep Arshi
Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
Panjab University,Pu polls,pu elections
Police holding a flag march on the eve of student elections at Panjab University. (HT Photo)

Over 15,000 students will vote on Thursday to elect the four office-bearers of the Panjab University Campus Students’ Council (PUCSC) amid allegations that the authorities failed to act against the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarhti Parishad (ABVP) for poll code violations.

There are a total of 21 candidates vying for the posts of president, vice-president, general secretary and joint secretary, with six in the fray for the top post, including a girl candidate from the Students for Society (SFS).

Meanwhile, 43,000 students will also elect their representatives in the student councils of nine colleges in the city. However, student parties are fearing a low turnout this year, as in the past one week the varsity has hardly been open due to holidays.

Main contenders

PU and its colleges draw students from Punjab, Haryana and Himachal, hence its results are keenly watched by political parties. It has assumed more importance this year in view of the Lok Sabha elections in 2019. However, unlike the past, the student parties have focused largely on student-centric issues in their campaigns (see box).

Key issues
  • Hostel for all, no curfew hours for girls.
  • Senate representation.
  • Regulation of fee hike.
  • Hygienic food in mess and student centre.
  • Action on faculty shortage, teacher’s evaluation system.

Electioneering has largely remained peaceful this year barring protests held on Tuesday night after campaign ended. The protests were against the ABVP panel participating in two events on the campus, held allegedly to garner votes, after the 5pm campaigning deadline.

Among the main contenders, the National Students Union of India (NSUI), which won three seats last year including the president, is pitted against the Student Organisation of India (SOI) alliance and Students for Society, a left-leaning organisation.

Last year, its candidate, also a girl like this year, came close second, losing by only 611 votes. The SOI, student wing of the Shiromani Akali Dal, could not win a single while the PUSU alliance grabbed the joint secretary’s post. The ABVP, which is the student wing of the Bharatiya Janata Party, has never been a major player on the campus.

Presidential candidates and alliances

1. Amandeep Singh (PSU (L))

2. Kanupriya (SFS)

3. Anuj Singh (NSUI)

4. Ravinder Bir Singh (PUSU+HPSU Nishant Kaushal group+GBSO)

5. Iqbalpreet Prince (SOI+ISA+HPSU+HIMSU+PPSO+PFS)

6. Ashish Rana (ABVP+SFPU)

Highlights
  • Polling begins at 9:30 am
  • Polling ends at 11 am
  • Results at 9 pm
  • 162 polling booths

Restrictions in place

1. Students should enter the campus by 9 am

2. They should carry their identity cards to vote

3. If the card has not been issued, they should carry a letter certified by their department.

4. Gate no. 1, 2 and 3 will remain open till 12:30 pm. Gate no. 1 will be closed between 12:30 pm and 4:30 pm, while the other two will remain partially closed.

5. No outsider will be allowed till 4:30 pm.

First Published: Sep 06, 2018 09:05 IST