PU polls-2017: All eyes on UIET as parties gear up for tough fight
The UIET proved to be the game changer in the 2016 elections. Out of the 10,000 votes polled last year, 1,574 were from UIET.punjab Updated: Sep 05, 2017 12:56 IST
Like every year, the students from University Institute of Engineering Technology (UIET) are all set to play a pivotal role during Panjab University Campus Students’ Council (PUCSC) elections. With a vote bank of over 2,500, all the student organisations in the fight are trying their best to woo this department, which is a part of PU’s south campus in Sector 25.
The UIET proved to be the game changer in the 2016 elections. Out of the 10,000 votes polled last year, 1,574 were from UIET. This year, they approximately make up 25% of the vote bank. Trends from the past also point towards the UIET phenomenon playing a major part in the election as its students tend to vote for one group.
Last year, the Students for Society (SFS) was ahead in the race with the PUSU-Student Front alliance trailing at number two and followed by the Students Organisation of India (SOI). In the last leg, however, the UIET vote bank pushed the PUSU alliance into the winning position after they polled 552 votes to the presidential candidate. The PUSU candidate for joint secretary belonged to UIET and got 992 votes. The SFS candidate managed to get only 214 votes from UIET.
Votes from UP, Bihar students major factor
However, there is another major factor at play this year. The students from Uttar Pradesh and Bihar form approximately 45% of the total strength of UIET, which has prompted student bodies to leave no stone unturned to get maximum support from them. Sources said all the students from UP and Bihar turned up to vote on election day, more so than the local students.
“The atmosphere of the elections is amazing in the university and the students from Bihar are active participants. Politics is in their blood.”
The Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) has fielded a presidential candidate who belongs to UP. “Over 500 students in UIET belong to UP, including PhD scholars and students of ME (masters in engineering). So, the local connect gives me an edge,” said Avinash Pandey, who belongs to Lucknow.
The overallvote bank from Bihar is 600. “Even the students from Bihar have played an important role in the victory of mainstream student organisations during the election. They have an eye on us due to our unity and the backing we have for each other,” said Akash Vishva from Patna (Bihar), last year’s ABVP in-charge of south campus.
The ABVP has appointed Manish Chaudhary from Allahabad (UP) as the UIET in-charge and Shubham Tyagi from Ghaziabad (UP) is the boy’s hostel in-charge on south campus.
Similarly, even the SOI has appointed Prince Kumar from Bihar as the co-coordinator of south campus. The student wing of the SAD clocked in second last year after its presidential, Piyush Anand, got 662 votes from UIET.
Anish Kumar of the National Students Union of India said, “The atmosphere of the elections is amazing in the university and the students from Bihar are active participants. Politics is in their blood.” From Chhapra in Bihar, Anish is spearheading the campaign for the student wing of the Congress at UIET.
Even the Students for Society (SFS), who ultimately came third in last year’s elections, has fielded Shiv Saurav as its candidate for the post of vice-president. He is a student of UIET and belongs to Patna. This year, the leftist student outfit is expecting over 300 votes from UIET.