Personal campaigning made difficult as some voters died long back
Candidates contesting for the 15 posts on the registered graduates constituency in the Panjab University Senate elections alleged that they faced much trouble and much embarrassment while campaigning,as the voters list has not been updated for a long time.
Speaking to Newsline,some candidates said that many voters have changed residences,married and left the address mentioned in the voters details or died. However,details of such voters were not updated,which made door-to-door campaigning troublesome and time consuming.
D P Randhawa,a sitting senator and one of the candidates,said,Though additions are made in the list,there are no revisions in the details of the voters. Some voters dont even live at the address which is mentioned in the list and we had to arrange for information of their new addresses to visit them.
According to Anu Chatrath,another senate candidate from the same constituency and a sitting senator,personal campaigning was a hassle as it was embarrassing to ask for a voter and be informed that he died years ago. We went to a voters house and were told that he died 18 years ago. Another voter had died about 14 years ago. It is embarrassing and also wastes much time when we already have just over a month for campaigning, she said. She added that the voters list is provided to them only in July after which they can start going to houses to campaign for the elections. It is a serious problem and should be addressed immediately by the authorities. If I get elected,I will definitely take up the matter in the senate, she said.
Panjab University Registrar,A K Bhandari,said that the lists had been updated by the first week of August and new members were added. However,there is no provision for revision of the voters list for the senate elections.
There are many life members who have died or shifted and not voted for years but there is no provision in the Panjab University calendar,which governs the senate elections,to revise the list, he said. New members are regularly added but older ones are not scrutinised for removal unless they are temporary members and have not applied for renewal of membership.
The registrar added that last year a committee was formed regarding the same,which was to provide suggestions on how to evolve a system for revising the voters list. Some meetings took place and provisions were discussed but nothing has been finalised yet. However,hopefully some new regulations will be ready by next year and will be enforced after the senates approval, he said.