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Thursday, December 12, 2019

PUCSC polls: Students’ unions announce candidates

This year, six candidates will fight for the post of president and seven for vice-president, and four each for secretary and joint secretary.

Written by Oindrila Mukherjee | Chandigarh | Published: September 1, 2018 8:43:59 am
PUSU and HPSU members in Panjab University, Chandigarh, on Friday. 9Express photo by Sahil Walia)

Student organisations have announced their panels for Panjab University Campus Student Council (PUCSC) elections that will be held on September 6.

This year, six candidates will fight for the post of president and seven for vice-president, and four each for secretary and joint secretary.

Only one woman is in the fray for the presidential post, while there are two for the vice-president and one for joint secretary. Hardik Ahluwalia from the Law Students’ Union (LSU) and Ajayant from PUHH are independent candidates fighting for the post of vice-president.
On Friday, the office of the Dean of Student Welfare released the final list after several delays. The provisional list was to come out at 10am, but there was a delay in receiving the nominations by the remaining departments.

The list came out at noon, soon after which candidates filed their withdrawal of nominations. Initially, according to the provisional list, there were 57 candidates for president, 70 for vice-president, 62 for general secretary and 64 for joint secretary.

The major parties in the fray are National Students’ Union of India (NSUI), Students for Society (SFS), PSU Lalkaar, Student Organisation of India (SOI), Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) and Panjab University Students’ Union (PUSU).

The NSUI, SFS and PSU Lalkaar are the only parties fighting without any alliance. The SFS and PSU Lalkaar have only named presidential candidates.

The day also saw SOI, ABVP and PUSU finalising their alliances. The SOI has joined hands with last year’s joint secretary winner, the Indian Students Association (ISA), along with Indian National Students’ Organisation (INSO), Himachal Pradesh Students’ Union (HIMSU). The SOI has only named the presidential candidate in this alliance.

The ABVP, on the other hand, has given away three posts except the presidential one to their ally, the newly-formed Students’ Federation of Panjab University (SFPU).

The PUSU has joined hands with the Nishant Kaushal group of HPSU. Kaushal, PUCSC 2016 president, left the PUSU this year to join the HPSU, but decided to pitch in for his older party.

Parties stormed the Student Centre in a show of strength as they announced their panels one after the other. The NSUI campus in-charge, Nitish Gaur, entered the premises with gunmen. Newly-appointed national media convener of NSUI, Siya Minocha, was also present. Minocha was the presidential candidate in 2016.

The ABVP, on the other hand, chanted “Vande Mataram” and “Bharat Mata ki Jai”, while Harmanjot Singh Gill, central working committee member, called for a “radical” change in the direction of student politics on the campus.

Out of 21 candidates for posts of office-bearers, four belong to University Institute of Engineering and Technology (UIET), followed by three each in University Institute of Legal Studies (UILS) and the dental college, two each in University Institute of Chemical Engineering and Technology and department of geology. One candidate each belongs to departments of Urdu, zoology, laws, physics and geography, along with the centre for human rights and duties and University Institute of Applied Management Sciences.

The UIET, considered the “game-changer” with around 2,500 votes, has representation in all posts of office-bearers. Even the UILS has representation for president, vice-president and joint secretary. This year, the dental college has three candidates in three top posts of president, vice-president and general secretary. With some leaders of the SFPU belonging to the dental college, participation from this department could bring about significant change in the vote bank for its ally ABVP.

“There are 500 votes from the dental college, but they’re mostly covered by the sciences here. So, it should not be too much of a problem here,” said a student leader who did not want to
be named.

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