The deadline,as ordered by the Panjab University authorities,for campaigning ended at 10 am on Monday. However,unofficially,campaigning continued till evening in the form of rallies and public meetings.
Last week,the university authorities had made it clear to all the student organisations that campaigning would end 48 hours before the voting day,September 4. Caring a hoot,the parties began their class-to-class campaigning after 10 am and also visited various hostels in groups in the evening,distributing manifestos.
Supporters of various parties were also found to be moving in cars around the campus,carrying flags and banners of their respective parties. A minor scuffle broke out between the supporters of the National Student Union of India (NSUI) and Hindustan Student Association (HSA) in the evening near the Department of Biochemistry while they were campaigning.
The major violation was reported on the University Institute of Engineering and Technology (UIET) campus when supporters of NSUI gathered outside the UIET canteen and started shouting slogans. Stickers of various parties were later found to be strewn all over the campus.
Dean Student Welfare Prof Navdeep Goyal said,This year,we had decided to close the campaigning process 48 hours before the voting day,unlike 24 hours every year. No class campaigning,or processions or rallies were allowed during this period.
Next year,we might again reduce the time period from 48 hours to 24 hours,as per the Lyngdoh guidelines, he added.
On the violation by the NSUI,Prof Goyal said,NSUI was given the permission to interact with the students of UIET,since we had already allotted them this time around 10 days back before the voting date was announced. It would have been unjustifiable if we had dissuaded them from holding the interaction.
However,in the garb of interaction,the party members ended up raising slogans and threw stickers into the air to call for support. A clash also broke out after supporters of the Students Organisation of Panjab University reached the spot and started raising slogans against the NSUI. Additional police force was sent to the spot.
The parties were stopped after they started raising slogans against each other,since we had allowed only an interaction,and not a rally, said the DSW.
Meanwhile in colleges…
At all the PU-affiliated colleges in the city,parties flouted the guidelines with impunity and were found to be screaming out their agendas to the students in canteens.
While the NSUI continued to campaign by roaming around at DAV College,Sector 10,with loud cheers,the ABVP in alliance with INSO were found distributing pamphlets and stickers on the campus. Supporters of various parties at GGSG College,Sector 26,also continued their campaign in canteens and on the campus.
KCSU party president Harshdeep Shergil said,We cannot afford to miss the opportunity of utilising the only day left with us when we could garner more support in the colleges. No one turned up on Sunday,so we continued the campaign on Monday.
However,the other colleges maintained decorum within the campus by taking the e-way to campaign and to reach out to a larger student population
With just 24 hours left for the Panjab University Students Council elections,all the student organisations on the campus are making their last-minute efforts to woo voters. As the students get ready to vote,here is a look at the agendas of the four major party alliances.
Students Federation of India
A student-friendly campus,with no hooliganism and goondaism,to ensure safety of girls on the campus,even after 10 pm
Reduction of fee of self-financed courses in various departments
More hostels on the campus for both girls and boys
Panjab University Students Union + Indian National Students Union + Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad
Central status for the university
More girls hostels on the campus
Reduction of fee for self-financed courses in the university
National Students Union of India + Himachal Students Union
Reduction of fee for students in various courses offered in the varsity
Development of university infrastructure
More hostels on the campus
Students Organisation of Panjab University + Students Organisation of India + Hindustan Students Association + Himachal Pradesh Students Union
Convocations should be held for each department separately
Evaluation of MA exam answersheets should be done in the university and the syllabus of all courses should be revised on the pattern of the syllabus of various entrance exams