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PU elections: Rivals up in arms as ABVP holds events after end of campaigning

The student parties — NSUI, SOI, PUSU and SFS held a protest outside the Golden Jubilee Hall as they came to know about these events.

punjab Updated: Sep 05, 2018 10:38 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
ABVP,Panjab University,Punjab
Students protesting outside the PU’s Golden Jubilee Hall.(HT Photo)

Almost all student parties resorted to protests on the Panjab University campus on Tuesday night, hours after campaigning ended for the student council elections at 5pm.

Reason: The varsity allowed two events in the evening in which the Bharatiya Janata Party’s student wing Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) leaders and members participated. A dinner event held at the Golden Jubilee Hall, attended by girls only, saw the participation of former Punjab BJP chief Kamal Sharma.

The venue was booked in the name of PU senator Subhash Sharma, who is Punjab BJP secretary. The second event was held at the seminar hall of Arts Block No, 1 around 6pm, in which the varsity’s research scholars participated.

The student parties — National Students’ Union of India (NSUI), Student Organisation of India (SOI), Panjab University Student Union (PUSU) and Students For Society (SFS) — held a protest outside the Golden Jubilee Hall as they came to know about these events.

Till late night, dean student welfare (DSW) Emanual Nahar and other varsity officials were seen pacifying the students, who were demanding cancellation of candidature of all panel members of the ABVP alliance. They even threatened to boycott polls.

The ABVP panel attended an event to seek votes on Tuesday evening. (HT Photo)

‘Votes sought at both events’

It is not immediately clear as to how the varsity gave permission for both the events after the campaigning deadline ended.

Nahar said: “We had relaxed the campaign deadline till 7pm. We are verifying details about the event at the Golden Jubilee Hall.” He said the varsity will take a decision on the complaint filed by students on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, alleging that the ABVP was being supported by varsity officials, SFS claimed their play scheduled for 6pm was not allowed, citing the poll code deadline.

Sources said at the event for research scholars, they were told to vote for the ABVP. The programme was presided over by Mohit Verma, president of the ABVP research wing.

In the second meeting, too, the panel code was announced and the girls were asked to vote for the ABVP.

In the photos circulated, the panel members can be seen seeking votes from 100-odd girls, who attended the event. After the event, dinner started at 9pm, but as soon as rival parties started gathering outside the hall, the ABVP workers left the venue from the rear gate.

ABVP’s Harmanjot Singh Gill admitted that ABVP members attended the event, but said it was organised by a senator

and other student could also have joined it instead of protesting. Meanwhile, Subhash Sharma was not available for comment. This is the first student council election taking place on the campus after the joining of vice-chancellor Raj Kumar, who is termed by the opponents as an RSS man.

First Published: Sep 05, 2018 10:38 IST