Poll buzz echoes on varsity campus

Leaders of tomorrow are padding up on the Patna University turf for their first foray into politics.

The university election committee on Wednesday held a meeting at the administrative block and finalised dates for the students' union election process.

The nomination for the election will be held on November 30 and December 1, while the students can withdraw their names till December 3. The tentative time and date for the election has been set between 8am and 2.30pm on December 11. The votes will be counted and the results would be declared by the evening.

The panel members also decided to hold the election on the guidelines of the Lyngdoh Committee recommendations, a decision that might not go down well with expectations of many students' leaders.

U.K. Sinha, a member of the committee for the students' election, said: "All members have agreed to hold the students' union elections in accordance with the guidelines of Lyngdoh Committee, as the university is not the competent authority to change the basic framework of its recommendations."

The committee also decided to hold a meeting with representatives of various student leaders on November 9.

The student leaders have been demanding changes in the Lyngdoh Committee recommendations, such as abolishing the 70 per cent attendance for a student to contest the election, raising the upper limit for the election expenditure and using printed posters.

According to the Lyngdoh committee recommendations, a student can spend Rs 5,000 on the election. However, the student leaders have been demanding a raise to Rs 15,000.

Raj Sinha, a Patna College student, said: "The election expenditure for a candidate should be increased to a minimum of Rs 15,000, as Rs 5,000 is a small amount."

He added that the cap of 70 per cent attendance for a candidate contesting the election should also be abolished "as many students will not be able to contest the poll in such a case".

At a function held on October 11 at Wheeler Senate Hall in Patna University, vice-chancellor Shambhu Nath Singh had announced the dates for the students' union election, which was held in 1984 for the last time.

Patna University Students' Union (PUSU) has served as the launching pad for many politicians. Former chief minister Lalu Prasad, chief minister Nitish Kumar, deputy chief minister Sushil Kumar Modi, health minister Ashwini Kumar Choubey, former Union minister and BJP national spokesperson Ravi Shankar Prasad served the PUSU in different capacities.

"Two representatives from every students' body have been called to the (November 9) meeting and the representatives must be students of Patna University," U.K. Sinha said, pointing out that each college would have six ballot boxes.

On the basis of students' strength at various colleges, election booths will be created. The election at Patna University will be held for 23 posts, direct elections will be held for five key posts at the university-level ' president, vice-president, general secretary, joint secretary and treasurer ' while executive committee members will be elected college and postgraduate faculty wise.

The executive committee members will be elected on the basis of the students' strength. Patna Women's College, BN College, Patna College, Magadh Mahila College and Patna Science College will have two representatives each, while Patna Training College, Women's Training College, Patna Law College and College of Art and Crafts will have one representative each at the executive committee.