Amanda Tariang & Shiva Krishna
Campaigning for the 2010 - 11 UoH Students’ Union elections came to a close on Monday, October 11th with the Open Dais (OD) session that was held between the candidates and the students in the DST Auditorium. The programme started at 7pm and went on till 10. The candidates for the posts of President, Vice-President, General Secretary, Joint Secretary, Cultural Secretary and Sports Secretary put forth their agendas before those present.
The programme was chaired by the Chief Election Commissioner (CEC), P. Dinesh Babu, who read out the rules and regulations that was to be followed. The contestants for the post of the president were allowed seven minutes to present their agendas, whereas, other candidates were given five. Based on the agenda, students were also allowed to raise two main questions and one sub question each.
There was clear political demarcation among the students present in the auditorium. The Students Federation of India and Ambedkar Students’ Association activists, who are fighting this election in an alliance, occupied the seats towards the left of the hall while Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad activists sat on the right side with the Telangana Students Association members taking the rest of the seats.
Questions raised were mostly accompanied either by applause or booing, depending on the political affiliation of the candidate taking the question and the individual students. At times, the candidates were not audible due to the shouting. There were also moments of tension between the members of different organisations present on the floor.
A notable omission of this year’s OD session was the absence of presidential debate, in which all the presidential candidates debate with each other in front of the students. “The Presidential Debate was not conducted due to time constraints. Some candidates took more than the stipulated time to present their respective agendas and the Q&A session was prolonged,” said CEC P. Dinesh Babu.
The polling will be held on Wednesday, 13th October, followed by counting the next day.