September 8, 2021 6:50:46 am
Panjab University (PU) authorities on Tuesday — after facing prolonged intense protests — announced the senate election dates for the registered graduate constituency category.
Vikram Nayyar, registrar-cum-returning Officer said that the elections will be held on September 26, but there was a rider — the final nod for the same was subject to “the approval of the chancellor and Vice President of India and also subject to approval of one of the states, Uttrakhand, where the election of this constituency is to be held.
Voting for the registered graduates, the biggest constituency of the PU senate elections, was earlier slated to be held on August 18 but was later postponed by the varsity citing lack of permissions to hold the elections.
Issuing a notice in this regard, the university had stated that of the seven states and UTs where polling happens, Uttarakhand and Delhi were yet to give the nod and confirm the space for polls that are to be conducted.
Soon after the postponement, students and stakeholders of the varsity had launched an indefinite protest, demanding that fresh dates for holding the election be announced at the earliest.
Despite the varsity issuing several statements and updates on where it was in regards to getting permissions from member states for holding the polls, the students and statekeholders of the varsity had remained unmoved. They had stated that “they did not trust the V-C” and would continue to protest till an official notification for the exact dates of elections has been issued.
On Tuesday, the ongoing indefinite protest entered into its 25th day and has so far during its course seen support from various leaders — including farmer leaders, Gurnam Singh Chaduni (BKU-Chaduni), and Surjit Singh Phool (BKU-Krantikari), actor-turned-activist Deep Sidhu, among other senior politicians of Punjab — who often visited the Panjab University campus to show solidarity with protesting students.
The senate body elections for the Panjab University have remained pending for a year and finally began on August 3 and were supposed to end on August 23.
These elections were originally scheduled to be held in August last year but were postponed by vice-chancellor (VC) Raj Kumar citing the pandemic. After the Punjab and Haryana High Court in April this year pulled up the vice chancellor for the delay, polls were scheduled from April 26 this year, but were postponed again due to the ongoing second wave of Covid-19 pandemic.
The university has since seen several protests by all stakeholders, which have spilled onto the city roads. On July 8, the Punjab and Haryana High Court had directed the varsity to place on record the senate election schedule by July 16.
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