Securing victory for the fourth time in a row, the Mritunjaya-Naura group won the Panjab University’s Teachers Association elections on Friday with a clear margin.
Mritunjaya, who had been holding the post of vice-president, has now become the elected president of PUTA executive body.
The group won all of the eight positions. However, the margins with which the group re-won the elections remained smaller for the current year, as compared to the previous elections.
While Mritunjaya was ahead in the polls by 41 votes, the vice-president was ahead of his competitor by 26 votes. This bridge remained more or less the same for almost all posts excluding the treasurers, where Nitin Arora won with a clear margin of 112 votes.
Two main opposing groups had remained in fray for the executive body of PUTA– Sidhu-Khalid group and Mritunjay-Naura group. The latter, with professors, Rajesh Gill, Mritunjaya Kumar, Amarjit Singh Naura and Keshav Malhotra, among others, had been the standing members of the association for three times in a row and re-won the elections Friday.
While Mritunjaya Kumar of the AC Joshi Library bagged the president position, the post of vice-president will be held by Supinder Kaur of the Law department. Amarjit Singh Naura of the Biochemistry department will be the new secretary, and the post of joint secretary has been bagged by Nitin Arora of Economics department.
Former President of PUTA, Professor Rajesh Gill of Sociology, won as a group I executive member for the body. The opposing team, meanwhile, gave a tough fight to the standing contenders, losing out each position only by a few votes. The team had contested for all the posts.
Overall, the polls remained peaceful, stated the returning officer Professor Vijay Nagpal. The voter turnout stood at 83 per cent, much higher than expected owing to the on-going pandemic.
The voter turnout stood at 80 per cent on the first day of the voting on Thursday, during which 400 of the total 500 scheduled votes were casted. The numbers grew furthermore on the second day, as 124 of the total 127 votes were polled Friday.
In a statement, Nagpal said, “We are thankful that people put faith in us to conduct the elections amid the pandemic. All norms were taken care of, including consistent sanitisation and social distancing. I criticise all those who questioned the work being done, their reaction was immature.”
The elections have paved a way and set an example of ensuring that democracy thrives, despite a pandemic.
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