It’s set: Panjab University students to elect next council on September 6

The Panjab University Campus Student Council (PUCSC) elections will be held on September 6, as confirmed from multiple sources. The official announcement is likely on Saturday, when the detailed schedule for elections will be shared by the varsity.

ABVP supporters during a campaign rally ahead of the student council elections at the Student Centre, Panjab University/ (Ravi Kumar/HT)

A proposal with a set of proposed dates was sent by Panjab University to the UT administration recently for its confirmation. As confirmed by various sources in the UT administration as well as PU, the former has approved September 6 as the PUCSC election date.

Around 15,000 students are expected to participate in the elections this year. As PU has a number of students from Punjab, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh, the campus poll results also gauge the public sentiment about political parties, most of whom enter the contest through their student wings.

Last year, Aayush Khatkar of Chhatra Yuva Sangharsh Samiti (CYSS), the student wing of the Aam Aadmi Party, was elected the council president by a margin of 660 votes. The elections were held after a two-year gap owing to the Covid pandemic and this was the first time that the CYSS had contested in the PU polls.

48.91 cr for new hostels at PU

Two weeks ahead of the Panjab University Campus Student Council (PUCSC) elections, Punjab chief minister Bhagwant Mann announced a 48.91 crore grant for construction of more hostels on the campus.

As per a communication shared by the Punjab government, 25.91 and 23 crore have been released for the construction of a boys and girls hostel, respectively.

The same comes after Mann’s July 25 campus visit. Students had at the time raised the demand for more accommodation on the campus.

Notably, the Punjab government had earlier not complied with the annual 6% hike in the grant to be paid to the university annually, which resulted in a shortfall of 4.25 crore. The state also owes 20.95 crore to the varsity under post-matric scholarship scheme.

CYSS spots opportunity

The student wing of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), Chhatra Yuva Sangharsh Samiti (CYSS), had during last year’s election campaign promised that they would bring a grant for construction of new hostels from the Punjab government.

Understandably ecstatic over the CM’s announcement, the party leaders used the grant to bolster their election campaign at an event organised by the party at University Institute of Engineering and Technology (UIET) on Friday afternoon.

CYSS state president Sanjeev Chaudhary said their efforts bore fruit, adding, “Other student parties had brought up this issue that there are only talks for hostel funds and they remain on paper but we have answered them with our actions.”

Speaking at UIET, they also talked about how the party had contributed in getting the tuck shop and medical centre set up on the South campus.

The move has surprised other student parties.

A student leader who did not wish to be named remarked that even the student parties associated with other political parties won’t be able to contribute as many funds towards the student welfare as CYSS has done through the AAP government, while the non-politically aligned student parties will also take a hit.

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