21 candidates in fray, results slated to be announced in the evening
Chandigarh, September 6, 2023 (IANS): Amid deployment of over 1,200 policemen, polling for the four-member Panjab University Campus Students’ Council began peacefully on Wednesday with 21 candidates in the fray, officials said, with the results slated to be announced in the evening.
A total of 15,693 students will cast their votes at 170 polling booths with a total of 320 ballot boxes.
The counting of ballots will begin after 12 noon.
This year the major groups contesting the students council elections are Panjab University Students Union (PUSU), Student Organisation of Panjab University (SOPU), National Students Union of India (NSUI), Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) and Indian National Student Organisation (INSO).
Nine candidates are vying for the top post of president and four each for the posts of vice-president, secretary and joint secretary. Davinder Pal Singh (PUSA), Divyansh Thakur (Chhatra Yuva Sangharsh Samiti or CYSS), Jatinder Singh (NSUI), Kuldeep Singh (Haryana Students Association), Manika Chhabra (Panjab Students’ Union Lalkar), Prateek Kumar (Students for Society), Rakesh Deshwal (ABVP), Saksham Singh (Independent) and Yuvraj Garg (Students Organisation of India) are in the fray for the top post.
As many as 43,705 students will also be eligible to vote at 10 city colleges to elect their respective student councils. A total of 110 candidates are contesting for the four posts. In the run-up to the polls, three alliances have emerged.
The CYSS has joined hands with the Himachal Students’ Union (HIMSU).
The INSO has forged alliance with the SOI and the Himachal Pradesh Students Union, while Panjab University Helping Hands (PUHH) has tied up with the ABVP. In the 2022 elections, ABVP-turncoat Aayush Khatkar of the CYSS had defeated Harish Gujjar of the ABVP by 660 votes.
NSUI had managed to grab two posts, with Harshdeep Singh Batth being elected as vice-president and Manish Boora joint secretary.
The post of secretary had gone to Pravesh Bishnoi, the joint candidate of the ABVP-led alliance.
Ahead of the elections, the 533-acre campus was nothing less than a battlefield with university authorities and Chandigarh Police under the strict law.
Two of three gates into the university have been sealed till the election process is over. Entry to the campus, the main one located in Sector 14, has been restricted.
Every vehicle is checked as university officials defend the restrictions. Panjab University is one of the oldest universities in India, being established in 1882 at Lahore.
The PU campus here is spread over 550 acres.
The university has around 60 teaching and research departments and over 170 colleges are affiliated to it. (IANS)