As employee elections near, students question ban on PAUSA polls

LudhianaSocial networking sites like Facebook are being used to promote and support student leaders. Express

While student elections have been banned in Punjab since 1984 during the days of militancy, the employees' elections scheduled for January 10 at the Punjab Agricultural University have left the students restless.

"If the employees, retirees, teachers and even clerks have the right to elect their representatives through voting, then why not students?" ask the students. This question is being raised by the PAU students who have now taken to social networking sites to show their support for student leaders and demanding lifting of the ban on student polls.

At present, there are two groups in the varsity which claim to be favourites of the PAU students. While there is no official body of students' leaders, PAUSA (PAU Students Association) is unofficially used by the students as their group name.

Two groups, led by Karanvir Sandhu and Tirath Rai, claim to be the official office-bearers of PAUSA while there is no elected leader for the same. Both the groups have declared their leaders — Sandhu and Rai as the president of PAUSA — but without any official number of supporters or voting.

The ban on elections, students feel, has only intensified the rivalry, groupism and tension on the campus as there is no officially elected group which can put their grievances across to the management.

"We do not know whom to approach when there is any problem. The ban on elections has only intensified the tension as both groups claim to be the winner. There is complete ambiguity. Elections should be held to bring clarity," said Simran from College of Agriculture.

Manjit Sharma from College of Basic Sciences said, "It's been more than 30 years now that terrorism is out of Punjab and peace has been restored. Now why this ban on student elections? Democracy is for all."

Various groups and pages made by students of PAU on Facebook are supporting their choice of group and some are even discussing formation of new groups to rule PAUSA.

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