With 15 candidates in the fray, 14 student organisations and multiple alliances, the stage is set for the election to the Panjab University Campus Students’ Election on Wednesday.
On Tuesday, while some candidates were seen doing some last-minute campaigning, others were seen seeking blessings of the Almighty — all hoping to record a win in this year’s poll. Party supporters could be seen meeting voters in person in an attempt to appeal to them for one last time. The PU campus wore a relatively deserted look, as all student organisations targeted hostels for some last-minute personal campaigning.
This year, three major alliances have been formed by the student organisations. The first alliance is between the National Students’ Union of India (NSUI), Himachal Pradesh Students’ Union (HPSU) and Hindustan Students Association (HSA). The second alliance, which is the largest alliance in this election season, comprises the Students’ Organisation of India (SOI), Indian National Students’ Organisation (INSO), Himachal Students’ Union (HIMSU), National Students’ Organisation (NSO), Youth Organisation of India (YOI), Gandhi Group Students’ Union (GGSU) and YUWA. The third alliance is between the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP), Panjab University Students’ Union (PUSU) and Students’ Association of Punjab (SAP). Pal Phalwaan Students’ Organisation (PPSO) is contesting independently, with Manvir Singh Brar as its sole candidate for the post of joint secretary.
Other than personal campaigning, WhatsApp messages were sent, online cartoons made, handmade posters given out and repeated phone calls made. Now all eyes are on the voters of PU, waiting for their final verdict.
Before the polling, students loved indulging in a bit of psephology. “I think SOI will win this year as they have been campaigning very actively, and the majority of the parties have joined hands with SOI,” said Arshdeep Dhillon, a student of PU. Another student, Urvashi, added, “Shiromani Akali Dal, the parent party of SOI, is in power in Punjab as well as at the Centre this year. The chances are even the students of PU will put their faith in SOI this time.”
However, there are many who believe that after having won in the PU polls for the last two years, the NSUI might manage to record a hat-trick. “NSUI has been a very strong party in Panjab University for the last few years, which is why it is likely that they just might win again this year.”
The PU authorities on Tuesday issued show-cause notices to all the contesting candidates who involved outsiders in their rallies inside the university campus on Monday. The candidates who used vehicles for canvassing were also issued notices, asking them to explain their position as to why their candidature should not be cancelled.