The office-bearers of the newly elected Patna University Students’ Union (Pusu) will take oath of secrecy next week.
The university administration started declaring the results late on Tuesday night. Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad-backed candidate, Ashish Sinha, was declared the president of Pusu.
Sinha defeated his nearest rival Divya Gautam of All India Students’ Association (AISA) by a margin of 168 votes. He bagged 1,896 votes.
“After a successful election, students have got a platform to raise their voice. Now, the students’ organisations will not be able to paralyse academic and administrative affairs of the university in the name of students’ welfare,” said Patna University vice-chancellor Shambhu Nath Singh.
Like other elected bodies, the Pusu, too, would function in the university and have its own office on the campus.
“Either the old office of the Pusu, near directorate of distance education, or a new space would be allocated to the new members of the union. They can sit and discuss issues pertaining to students’ welfare there,” the VC added.
Explaining the workflow, a student of the university, said: “The newly elected 19 college representatives would have to inform about the students’ problems in their respective colleges to the five members of the central panel. They would raise the issues with the university administration.”
Registrar of the university V.K. Yadav said: “According to the Patna University Act, either the president or the general secretary or both will be members of the university senate (similar to the Assembly constitution). During the senate meetings they can raise different issues.”
The elected members can raise matters concerning security arrangements on the campus, improvement of academic atmosphere, facility upgrade at hostels, washrooms and availability of drinking water. During the university budget, the administration will have to grant fund to the Pusu, which will be used in purchasing stationery and carrying out office maintenance work.
With a new union, the students of the university are heaving a sigh of relief, as they feel that the elected members would take up the problems with the authorities concerned.
Charu Priya, a student of Patna Women’s College, said: “With the election, we have got an organisation that can raise our issues before the varsity administration at the right time.”
As the results stand now, the All India Students’ Federation (AISF) bagged two seats out of the five key posts in the central panel.
The AISF-backed candidates clinched the posts of the vice-president and the general secretary. Out of the 19 executive posts of college representatives, the AISF-backed candidates bagged six posts, including one each at Patna Women’s College and Magadh Mahila College.
On the other hand, ABVP-backed candidates secured four posts. Apart from the president’s seat, the ABVP-backed candidates bagged the executive posts at Patna Women’s College, Magadh Mahila College and Vanijya Mahavidyalaya.
However, AISA received the biggest setback this election. AISA members, who fought hard to get the students’ union election on track after a gap of 28 years, failed to open an account.
The face of the party and the presidential candidate, Divya Gautam, was considered a top contender for the coveted post. She got 1,728 votes but lost to Ashish Sinha.
Sources said low turnout of voters, especially at women’s colleges and too many girl candidates for the president’s post were some of the reasons behind Gautam’s loss.
The JD(U)-backed candidates, who were opposing the students’ union election that followed the Lyngdoh Committee recommendations, had to settle with one central panel post.
The RJD students’ wing, too, got one member to the central panel.
Not a single candidate supported by the NSUI, students’ wing of the NCP and the LJP won in the election.
Chief minister Nitish Kumar congratulated the students of Patna University and the winning candidates after the election results were declared. He said: “The successful election would help the students of the university gain knowledge.”