Ignoring the suggestion given by Panjab University (PU) Vice-Chancellor that the community radio station of the university be used by the student candidates for campaigning,the students leaders have turned to private FM radio channels of the city,to woo voters ahead of the Students Council elections on September 4.
The community radio station and the official website of PU failed to garner much enthusiasm among the student organisations to run their campaigns,despite the fact that it was free of cost. Parties instead,preferred to spend large amounts of money and use private FMs to run their advertisements. While,a one minute advertisement on any of the private FMs costs around two thousand,the advertisements of the parties were found to be running quite frequently on the radio,leading to higher costs,flouting the Lyngdoh guideline not to exceed the stipulated poll expenses of Rs 5,000.
It must be noted that V-C Professor Arun Kumar Grover had offered the use of PU’s community radio station and the website to the candidates contesting for the students council elections in the varsity,in a move to cut down the poll expenses. The university also invited applications from the student organisations on Friday for recording a 15-minute message on the radio for broadcasting in three time slots throughout the day.
With the elections scheduled for Wednesday,not even a single student organisation has come forward to record their message on the PU radio.
The range of the PU radio is around 10 kms,while these private FMs cater to a large number of people. Moreover,we could not have requested for support in the community radio,unlike the commercial radio stations, said a student leader.
As the date of the elections was announced too late,we were left with so less time that we decided to focus on our regular campaigning in hostels and classes,” he added.
However,the student organisations stood by their demand to revive the open houses in the university till the end. While,open houses failed to get revived this year,student leaders continued to campaign their old way in hostels and classes.