For the second time in a row,the Students Organisation of Panjab University and its allies made a clean sweep in the elections to the Panjab University Campus Students Council (PUCSC) on Friday. Satinder Singh Satti was elected president after defeating his nearest rival Abhinav Puri of PUSU-NSUI alliance by a margin of 533 votes.
In the past five times that the SOPU and its partners have won the elections,they have made a clean sweep of all the seats of office-bearers.
The voter turnout was about 60 per cent,which was higher than the previous year.
The SOPU along with the Students Organisation of India (SOI),Hindustan Students Association (HSA) and Students Federation of India (SFI) won all the top four positions: president,vice-president,secretary and joint secretary. Interestingly,the SOPU had fielded its candidate only for the post of president.
Satti,the president-elect,is a final year student of geology. Seerat Arora of SOI,a UIET student,has been elected as new vice-president. Kuldeep Sharon of HSA,a student of law,has been elected as the new secretary. The joint secretary is Kanhaiya Lal from UICET.
Satti polled 3,978 votes and won with a lead of 533 votes over the nearest candidate,Abhinav Puri of PUSU-NSUI alliance,who got 3,445 votes. Last year,the president had won with a margin of 1,001 votes. This year,however,both the leading parties were anticipating the SOPU victory but with a lesser margin.
We knew it will be difficult to repeat the same feat and the margin would be less,but the victory was definitely expected, said SOPU president Manoj Lubana.
The PUSU had suffered in the previous election due to an internal rift in the party. Though the party consolidated its position this year and fought unanimously,it could not scale down the margin of 1,001 votes from last year.
The post of secretary was won by Kuldeep Sharon,with the maximum margin between any two candidates on the entire panel. He received 3,898 votes,about 853 votes more than his nearest competitor,Ranjit Singh of the PUSU-NSUI alliance. Last year,the margin was of 836 votes.
There was close competition for the post of vice-president which was won by Seerat Arora who got 3,434 votes. She won with a margin of just about 45 votes over PUSU candidate Smriti Brar,who received 3,389 votes. In 2011,Simarpal Kaur,who belonged to the SOPU alliance,had won with a margin of 763 votes.
For the post of joint secretary,Kanhaiya Lal won with a margin of 543 votes,bagging 3,889 votes. Both Seerat and Kanhaiya had filed their nomination as independent candidates. However,when the nomination of the candidates of the SOPU alliance was rejected after scrutiny,these candidates became a part of their panel and were backed by the coalition. The victory margin for the post of joint secretary was much higher this year,compared to the margin of 197 votes last year.
Despite being an extended weekend with four holidays,about 8,346 votes were polled in the university on Friday. The voter turnout was 60.82 per cent,which is the highest in the past five years despite speculation of a low turnout. Last year,the turnout was about 56 per cent. More than 60 per cent voting was registered from UIET,UILS and the Department of Laws.
The SOPU and its allies registered a lead in most of the departments. They had a lead of 151 votes in UILS,476 votes in science departments,32 votes in BDS and seven votes in UIMS. However,the PUSU and its allies had the upper hand in arts blocks I and II,with a lead of 40 and 15 votes respectively.
According to senior SOPU leaders,the results of the science departments were a deciding factor,with geology department giving them a headway of 95 votes. They said that it was a good decision to nominate a candidate for the post of president from the science department as he would be able to work on the issues of these students.
The attempts of the ABVP and INSO to contest independently this time without entering into an alliance did not yield much results with their candidates not polling many votes.