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Since 1st March, 1999
 
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First person, then comes party

Candidates’ charisma matters more to Patna University students’ union electorate than the political outfits they are affiliated to.

When The Telegraph asked a section of students what would they keep in mind while voting — the party or the candidate, most of the youths said the contender’s attributes would matter most. Some even believe that the candidates backed by students’ organisations would work on the direction of the parent party. Under such a situation, the core issues plaguing the students would remain unsolved, students said.

Alka Deep, a first-year history student at Magadh Mahila College, said: “The candidates affiliated to students’ organisations would work according to the whims and fancies of the parent party. Parties might take the front seat and candidates might melt into oblivion after the election, triggering various problems. While voting, I will definitely take into account an individual’s traits rather than the party to which he/she belongs to.”

Deep added that the students’ organisations often take up bigger issues that are bothering the students but the minor ones get shelved. Cleanliness, drinking water facility and toilets are never the agenda of the students’ organisations affiliated to heavyweight political parties.

Echoing Alka, another Magadh Mahila College student Anupriya, said: “We have read about the promises of the students’ organisations. They are demanding central tag for Patna University, improvement in education quality and appointment of teachers at the university-level. These demands are genuine. But they cannot be achieved by just raising the issue at the university-level. Patna University cannot be accorded the status of Central University unless the Union government makes up its mind to bestow the coveted tag,” Alka added.

Some students said the issues that directly affect the students, like provision for safe drinking water, more toilets in colleges and hostels, better canteen facility, are not the top agendas of the students’ organisations.

Omprakash, a first-year Hindi student, said: “Patna College is one of oldest institutes in eastern India but it lacks basic amenities like canteen and enough washrooms. No students’ organisation has promised to solve these issues. As a result, candidates who have promised to solve these petty issues will definitely find support. We can easily approach a particular candidate in times of crisis rather than knocking on the door of a students’ organisation.”

A few students, however, feel that the Independent candidates, who are not backed by any student organisation, would not be able to fight hard for the pupils’ problems.

Anupam Sahu, a student at Patna Science College, said: “Only three days are left to the battle for the campus. After days of campaigning, I have not found a single candidate who has the power to garner votes single-handedly. A candidate studying in a college could be popular in his or her institute but not across the university. This is where a party comes in. The party can promote the individual and ensure his/her victory.”