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Panjab University students’ council gets its first woman president

A member of the left-leaning student wing Students for Society (SFS), Kanupriya defeated five male candidates.

punjab Updated: Sep 07, 2018 11:53 IST
Yuvraj Kaushal and Arshdeep Arshi
Yuvraj Kaushal and Arshdeep Arshi
Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
PU election results,Kanupriya,first woman president
Panjab University Campus Students’ Council president Kanupriya at Panjab University in Chandigarh on Thursday. (Ravi Kumar/HT)

Kanupriya, 22, has been elected the first woman president of Panjab University Campus Students’ Council (PUCSC) on Thursday. A member of the left-leaning student wing Students for Society (SFS), she defeated five male candidates fielded by Akhil Bharatiya Vidhyarthi Parishad (ABVP), Students Organisation of India (SOI), National Students Union of India (NSUI), Panjab University Students Union (PUSU) and Punjab Students Union (Lalkaar).

Over 15,000 students voted 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.

A total of 21 candidates were 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 also elect their representatives in the student councils of nine colleges in the city. However, student parties had feared a low turnout this year, as in the past one week the varsity was hardly open due to holidays.

On posts of secy, joint secy, NOTA takers higher than winning margin

In what may be seen as a worrying development by political parties, especially with general elections due next year, the Panjab University Campus Student Council (PUCSC) elections saw a marked increase in takers for the ‘None of the Above (NOTA)’ option this year.

Introduced in the 2016 student council elections, NOTA, also known as “against all” or a “scratch” vote, is designed to allow voters to indicate disapproval of all of the candidates in the fray.

What is more significant is that for the posts of secretary and joint secretary, the number of votes polled in favour of the NOTA option is more than the winning margin. For the secretary’s post, 990 votes (10.51%) were in favour of NOTA, which is three times more then the winning margin of 333. On the other hand, the winning margin of Vipul Atray, who polled 2,357 votes for the post of joint secretary, is just over 100 votes, while as many as 879 (9.39%) chose NOTA. For the posts of president and vice-president, as many as 209 (2.20%) and 667 (7%) opted for the NOTA option.

Interestingly, the maximum number of takers for NOTA were in the departments of University Institute of Engineering and Technology (UIET) and University Institute of Legal Studies (UILS). Of total 879 polled for NOTA on the post of joint secretary, 100 were in UILS and 104 in UIET. On the secretary’s post, out of the 990 NOTA votes, 188 were in UILS and 92 were in UIET.

The new student council

President

Kanupriya, 22

Students for Society

Department: Zoology

Votes secured: 2802

Winning margin: 719

Vice-president

Daler Singh, 21

Students’ Organisation of India alliance

Department: Geology

Votes secured: 3,155

Winning margin: 928

Secretary

Amarinder Singh, 20

Students’ Organisation of India alliance

Department: University Institute of Engineering and Technology

Votes secured: 2,742

Winning margin: 333

Joint secretary

Vipul Atray, 19

National Students’ Union of India

Department: UIET

Votes secured: 2,357

Winning margin: 83

First Published: Sep 06, 2018 22:06 IST