PU polls-2017: ‘Sticky’ economics of student council elections | punjab$chandigarh

Student council elections at Panjab University become a canvas of colourful stickers of different parties dotting the ground. Students sport their colours to show their allegiance. Parties distribute them to bring more supporters into their fold. Wonder where they come from and how much they cost?

“All the major student parties spend Rs 1 lakh to Rs 2 lakh on stickers and posters alone,” said an employee at a printing press in Industrial Area, Phase 2, Chandigarh. Many parties come here to get their stickers and posters printed.

However, this is also a clear violation of the Lyngdoh Committee guidelines. The rules state that candidates cannot use printed material for canvassing. Only handmade material within the limit of expenditure can be used. Also, each candidate cannot spend more than Rs 5,000, so all parties roughly have an estimated budget of Rs 20,000. They nominate a panel of four for the posts of president, vice-president, secretary and joint secretary of the Panjab University Campus Students Council Election (PUCSC).

2 lakh stickers printed last year

“Around 2 lakh stickers were used last year, only in our college,” said the spokesperson of a leading party of Post Graduate Government College (PGGC), Sector 11. According to the rates in the market, 10,000 small stickers cost Rs 1,700. Usually, parties get 10,000 printed at once. Five or six major parties do the same three or four times during their campaign.

Parties spend more on stickers as the elections near, added the employee at the printing press. A party spends Rs 4,000 for 1,000 posters while 500 posters cost Rs 3,000.

Many parties get stickers only to toss them in the air as a mark of celebration or victory. Campaign rallies leave a trail of stickers behind on the ground, in turn defacing properties.

Presidential candidate spends most

A source said parties in colleges too spend lakhs to contest the elections. In most cases, the candidate for president is chosen from among those who can spend…

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