Lukewarm response to Panjab University senate elections

September 21st, 2008 - 11:04 pm ICT by IANS  

Chandigarh, Sep 21 (IANS) Polling to elect 31 members of the Panjab University Senate evoked lukewarm response Sunday, with only 25 to 30 percent voting recorded.The polling took place to elect eight members each from the constituency of heads of affiliated arts colleges and from the constituency of professors, senior lecturers and lecturers of the affiliated arts colleges.

Totally, 67 candidates are contesting the senate elections, 42 of them for the 15 seats of the graduates’ constituency alone.

“Despite the holiday in all government offices and organisations, very low numbers of people came for the voting. Overall, the elections went off peacefully and we did not get any formal complaint of violence or bogus voting from any booth,” Arvinder Mahajan, senior assistant of senate elections’ cell, told IANS.

At least 263 polling booths had been created in Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu, Rajasthan and Delhi. In Punjab, there were 189 polling booths whereas in Chandigarh and Delhi there were 33 and six booths respectively, Mahajan added.

Counting of votes will begin Sep 23 and the results will declared by the evening of Sep 24, Mahajan said.

As there was no formal deadline for the end of the campaigning, many senior lecturers and even professors were seen trying to woo voters right outside the polling booths.

“There is no restriction on the expenditure as the campaigning area is very vast. We have spent anywhere around Rs. 500,000 in the elections,” said one supporter of a graduates’ constituency contestant.

The senate elections are held after every four years and there are 235,000 voters scattered across various states of the country.

There were also two-three complaints of bogus voting.

“Bogus voting is going on since morning, especially on the details of research scholars. One of the leading political parties of the university has made fake identity cards and nobody is keeping a check on this,” said one student.

“We have received complaints from party campaigners. To avoid bogus voting, we are doubly checking the identity proofs of all the voters coming here,” the presiding officer of booth number eight told IANS.

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