Shimla: With nominations closing today for the students elections in Himachal Pradesh University and the affiliated colleges, battle lines for the all important student body poll are drawn.
The electoral battle at HPU is expected to be an intense one between the dominant left wing Students Federation of India (SFI), the congress backed National Students Union of India (NSUI) and the right oriented Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP).
Besides elections to the four post of President Vice President, General Secretary and Joint Secretary in the Students Central Association (SCA) at HPU, elections to college students central association (CSCA) in 97 affiliated colleges are also to held on 20th August for which nominations closed today.
Ajay Bherta, state secretary ABVP claimed that ABVP supported central panel had been elected unopposed in 13 colleges as no other outfits had decided to contest in these colleges.
Vijinder Mehra, general secretary state committee SFI laid claim to winning the central panel at Deen Dyal Upadhaya, Badsar. He also said that SFI backed candidates had been elected unopposed at 8 departments of HPU as Department Representatives (DR) as no candidates had filed their nominations.
Yadopati Thakur, NSUI state president claimed that the panel backed by their outfit had been elected unopposed 10 colleges.
Issues dominating the studentsâ€™ poll are the contentious privatization and commercialization of education which is being opposed by all outfits, including ABVP even though it is affiliated with the ruling party.
Delay in declaration of results, poor hostel facilities and transport services for students are some other elections issues that are being put before voters.
Campaigning is reaching a crescendo and besides a personal contact programs the students outfits are resorting to using Facebook, Twitter and other social network sites for campaigning besides using SMS services of mobile phone providers to reach potential voters.
At HPU the authorities finalized the voter list on Wednesday. In all there are 2,808 student voters which include 1553 females and 1,255 males. The university has planned to set up 28 polling booths for holding the elections.
Security officer KD Sharma said that security had been beefed up and personnel from police, home guards and university security had been deployed to check violence and intimidation of voters.
Polling would take place upto 2 p.m. on 20th August and by evening results are to be declared.