Last-minute campaigning, public meetings, rallies, inviting the students to vote through social media and convincing the hostlers to stay back who were found leaving for a long vacation, were the highlights of the day as the Panjab University is all set for the student union polls on September 5.
Though the deadline for the campaigning had ended at 4 pm, today, as was ordered by the Dean of Students Welfare (DSW), some of the student organisations continued with their campaigning unofficially in the form of distributing manifestos to the hostel students and public meetings till late evening.
Supporters of various students organisations were found to be moving in their cars around the campus with their party flags, banners, scarfs and printed pamphlets. While, on the last day of the campaigning, major polling violation was also reported in the entire varsity campus, especially at University Institute of Engineering and Technology (UIET), University Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences (UIPS) and Students Centre, where the student organisations held public meetings, took out rallies and shouted slogans.
Later in the evening, stickers, pamphlets and colourful paper strips were found to be strewn all over the campus. For this, DSW, today imposed a fine of Rs 1,800 each on three of the panels including PUSU, SOI and NSUI for littering on the campus. DSW Navdeep Goyal said, “If any of the party supporter or leader will involve in any kind of poll violation, there are strong chances that the candidature will be cancelled and the entire counting process will be stopped. We have already issued warning notices to the student organisations for the same.”
Meanwhile, this time, four main alliances formed by various students organisations and two independent parties are in the run to contest the Panjab University’s student council elections. Of 17 student organisations, now only six panels are in the fray for four office bearers of students council.i
First alliance is of Students Organisation of India (SOI), Indian National Students Organisation (INSO), Youth Welfare Association (YUWA) and Himachal Students organisation (HSO). Second panel consists of alliances of Panjab University Students Union (PUSU), Hindustan Students Association (HSA), Gandhi Group Students’ Union (GGSU), Himachal Pradesh Students Association (HPSA) and Students federation of India (SFI); third panel consists of an alliance of National Students Union of India (NSUI), Himachal Students Union (HIMSU) and National Students Organisation (HSO) and the fourth panel is an alliance of Students Organisation of Panjab University (SOPU) and Youth Organisation of India (YOI). While, Society for Students (SFS) and Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) will contest independently.
Voting will be held at 184 polling booths through secret ballot boxes, which have already reached the departments. But the ballot papers will be sent to the departments on Friday morning. Students have been instructed to assemble at their respective polling booths at 9.30 am after which teachers will take their attendance. Voting will start at 9.45 am and no student will be allowed to enter his/her respective department after 10.15 am. Results will be declared around 4 pm.
DSW Goyal informed that students are required to bring along their identity cards and those students who have not received their ID cards yet can be permitted to enter only if the chairperson identifies them or they would have to bring their admission fee slips along.”
The chairperson of each department will act as the chief polling officer who will be the overall incharge of the counting for that particular block and the final authority for determining the validity of the polled votes. As many as 26 returning officers have been appointed for 26 different blocks.
University Chief Security Officer, Jatinder Grover said, “All gates will remain open throughout the day but nobody will be allowed to enter after 12 noon. Any student found roaming outside the department after 9.45 am will not be allowed to enter the booth and vote.”