The rise and fall of SOPUhttps://indianexpress.com/article/cities/chandigarh/the-rise-and-fall-of-sopu/

The rise and fall of SOPU

Out of the 18 student organisations on the PU campus contesting for the elections, SOPU is the only party which hasn’t found anybody to take charge of it.

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Candidates of SOI campaign at Students’ Centre at Panjab University on Friday. (Source: Express Photo by Sahil Walia)

While the Students’ Organisation of Panjab University (SOPU) has completely lost its existence on the Panjab University (PU) campus this year, the same party can be seen gaining momentum in the city colleges.

Out of the 18 student organisations on the PU campus contesting for the elections, SOPU is the only party which hasn’t found anybody to take charge of it. The members of other organisations such as National Students’ Union of India (NSUI), Students’ Organisation of India (SOI), Panjab University Students’ Union (PUSU), and Akhil Bhartiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) say that SOPU has reached a dead end, at least on the campus.

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D P S Randhawa, who founded the party in 1997, said, “It is just a change of time. A majority of leaders who were associated with the party joined other student organisations. However, it does not matter if the existent parties are representing the students adequately. The purpose of the students’ election should be served.”

However, former president of SOPU, Amrinder Mann, said that it was depressing to see SOPU lose its identity completely after having worked so much on the campus.

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Chairman of SOPU at Post-Graduate Government College, Sector 46, Abhijot Singh, said, “This organisation is not affiliated to any political party. Thus, we will continue to support it.

“I am sure that we will manage a good victory this time, because a majority of students on the college campus is ready to support us,” he added.

In this college, SOPU has tied up with Gandhi Group Students’ Union (GGSU), Pal Pehalwan Students’ Organisation (PPSO), National Students’ Union of India (NSUI) and Hindustan Students’ Association (HSA).

Meanwhile, the president of the party, Anurag Gulati, said, “The unique thing about our organisation is that we want to work for students’ welfare instead of getting into politics. We want to represent the students, which is why the question of supporting other parties to gain popularity does not arise. We will continue to stand with this organisation.”

The party is also making its presence felt at DAV College, Sector 10; GGDSD College, Sector 32; the government colleges in sectors 46 and 11; and Sri Guru Gobind Singh Khalsa College, Sector 26. Though there are six other parties in the fray at Guru Gobind Singh Khalsa College, SOPU seems to be leading the pack.

A spokesperson of SOPU at SGGSC said, “We have a strength of around 2,000 students in the college, and we are sure that we will get adequate votes this time. Though PUSU and SOPU have lost their original identities on the university campus unlike previous years when students knew about only about these two parties, we have not given up at all. We want this organisation to stay as strong as it was.”

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