PUSU and SOPU hope for better luck in Panjab University elections this time around

Not affiliated to any political parties, PUSU and SOPU, however have given leaders to mainstream political parties.

punjab Updated: Aug 27, 2018 17:25 IST
Arshdeep Arshi
Arshdeep Arshi
Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
PUSU,SOPU,Panjab University
PUSU is focusing on placements and student exchange programmes to improve academic atmosphere this year.(HT File )

Once dominating the student election scene, the Panjab University Students Union (PUSU) and Students Organisation of Panjab University (SOPU) are looking for a chance to make a comeback this time around.

Established in 1977, PUSU contested its first election in 1978. SOPU came into existence in 1997, contesting the polls in the same year.

Founded by Jaskaran Singh Brar, now an advocate in the Punjab and Haryana High Court, PUSU’s slogan is ‘We find a way or make one’, says senior leader Kuldeep Smagh.

SOPU stands for ‘Students’ unity’, says its spokesperson Harsh Bajwa. It was founded by DPS Randhawa, now a member of the PU Senate.

Party affiliation

Not affiliated to any political parties, PUSU and SOPU, however have given leaders to mainstream political parties.

Agenda over the years

PUSU, which has raised several important student issues over the years, is focusing on placements and student exchange programmes for better academic atmosphere in this year’s polls. SOPU is demanding a ban on outsiders.

Founded by DPS Randhawa, SOPU came into existence in 1997. This year, the outfit’s main agenda is a ban on outsiders in Panjab University. (HT File )

Highs and Lows

PUSU was set up to counter the increasing political influence over student parties, going on to win the PUCSC elections in 1982 with Rajinder Deepa as its presidential candidate. It continued to dominate campus polls till 1997, after which SOPU contested for the first time and won.

The entry of the student wings of mainstream political parties led to the decline of both PUSU and SOPU. In 2013, Brinder Dhillon left PUSU for National Students Union of India (NSUI), which won the PUCSC elections for the first time that year.

In 2014, top leaders from both the parties joined Students Organisation of India (SOI), which won the polls in 2015. PUSU could only make a comeback in 2016 when its candidate Nishant Kaushal won the presidential post.

Now, however, Nishant Kaushal formed a second group of the already existing HPSU. Hardik Ahluwalia, another leader, snapped his ties with the party to form the Law Students Union (LSU) this year.

SOPU, however, has remained in the background even though it’s leaders say they’ll make a comeback.

In the past, clashes have taken place between PUSU and SOPU supporters, leading to police cases against them.

Big leaders produced

The first PUCSC president from PUSU Rajinder Deepa is now a Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) leader who made the switch-over sometime back from the Congress.

An MLA from Fatehgarh Sahib and Congress leader Kuljit Singh Nagra was also president of PUCSC from PUSU in 1992-93.

Other PUCSC presidents have been Congress leader and MLA from Dhuri, Dalvir Singh

Goldy, in 2006 (SOPU) and the Congress candidate in the 2017 assembly elections, Brinder Dhillon, in 2008-09, also from SOPU.

First Published: Aug 27, 2018 12:55 IST