Students of Patna University on Tuesday took the democratic route to choose the leaders of their union after a gap of 28 years. However, only half the total number of voters turned up to be part of the electoral process.
Barring a few stray incidents of group clashes among students, the election for Patna University Students’ Union (Pusu) passed off peacefully.
Pusu election committee chairman U.K. Sinha said: “Around 50 per cent voters turned up for the election on Tuesday. The reason behind an average turnout was foggy weather. Also, not many day students cast their votes.”
In Patna Women’s College, which has around 4,050 voters, 25 per cent students had come to cast their votes. The college boasted of highest number of voters for the Pusu election.
At Magadh Mahila College, where four students were contesting the presidential post, only 1,620 voters cast their votes out of the total 3,200 students. From the college, Shivani Sahay, Sweta, Pragya Raj Shiva and Usha Kiran, were running for the coveted post.
Group clashes among various political parties, however, created hullabaloo on the campus. A section of students accused college officials and teachers of favouring a particular candidate.
Sandeep Singh, a former Jawaharlal Nehru University students’ union president supported by the AISA, said: “The college administration is favouring the ABVP-backed candidates because only their members have been allowed to stay on college premises, while members of other parties have been barred from doing so.”
Students who had come to vote had very little to divulge after casting their votes. Most of them abstained from naming the candidates they had voted for in public.
Rakesh Kumar, a PhD student of Patna University, said: “After casting their votes, most of the students preferred to stay mum on their choice of candidates. Based on the feedback gathered from a few fellow students, voters at Patna Women’s College and Magadh Mahila College favoured the women candidates over the men for the presidential post.”
He added: “Candidates backed by the ABVP got a good response at Vanijya Mahavidyalaya and Patna Science College. At Patna College, the contenders supported by the AISA and the AISF had an edge over other candidates. While at BN College, the AIBSF candidates were preferred more than the others.”
At BN College, RJD chief Lalu Prasad’s son Tej Pratap suffered a blow, as he was not allowed to cast his votes for not having the college identity card. Some of his father’s supporters created a ruckus, however, Pratap was allowed to cast his votes after he got an affidavit stating, “he was a student of the college”.
A few miffed students of Patna Law College, who did not turn up to cast their votes, claimed that the students’ union election was not going to help them. Anuj Prasad, a student of the college, said: “The election is neither going to improve the college infrastructure nor will it academically help the students. It will boost the political aspirations of the candidates in the poll fray.”
By 8pm, the results of college representatives (executive posts) were declared. In the faculty of social science (PG-level), Ram Kumar Singh was declared the winner. In humanities, Ramesh Kumar finished first.
For the two posts of college executives in Patna Women’s College, Nancy and Amrita Sinha were declared winners. At Patna Law College, Himanshu Yadav was declared the winner. Puja Kumari was declared winner at Vanijya Mahavidyalaya. Total 19 executives have to be elected.
The counting for the five key posts (university-level) was delayed, as ballot boxes from colleges reached Magadh Mahila late. At the time of going to press, ABVP-backed candidate Ashish Sinha was leading the presidential race.