Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Oct 10:
The students’ union poll campaign officially came to an end today at colleges across Odisha. With only four days to go for the polls and two consecutive holidays starting tomorrow students let no opportunity go to woo the voters in the college campuses.
However, they would continue door to door campaigns and social media campaigns as a last ditch effort to influence the voters.
Notably, the polls have been scheduled for October 14. While October 10 and 11 are holidays because of Sunday and Mahalaya, October 13 would be the day for ‘why I stand for’ meeting and is a no campaign day.
Today, on the last day of campaign, student leaders left no stones unturned to reach out to their college mates. While some used the traditional campaigning strategies such as perfumed pushing cards and door to door campaigning, many others took to Facebook, WhatsApp and Twitter.
Some of the richly funded candidates went on to use sound systems, firecrackers, flex banners and large cut-outs making the college polls appear like an assembly election. Campuses were littered with pushing cards, posters and banners.
“Today is the last day of campaign inside the campus. However, we would go on with our mass-connect drive in the next two days. We are planning to reach out to the hostel residents and meet the local students at their homes in a door-to-door campaign. Besides, our online campaign would also go on,” said an aspiring candidate from a city based college.
It may also be noted that keeping an eye on the pre-poll violence witnessed in various colleges of Odisha, college authorities have cancelled the students’ union polls in 17 of the colleges of the state including Maharishi College of Natural Law, City Women’s College and Rajdhani College in Bhubaneswar, Nayagarh Autonomous College, Government College Dhenkanal and SCS Junior College of Puri.
Some of the students of SCS College are on a hunger strike to protest the decision of the college authorities. Couple of students were today admitted to Puri District Head Quarters hospital after their health condition deteriorated.
Among universities, while the election has been cancelled in Utkal University, the student union advisory board of Ravenshaw University, Cuttack overturned its earlier decision to cancel the polls and will go ahead with it as per the planned schedule.
The polling for the students’ union elections will be held between 8 am and 2 pm on October 14. While votes will be counted and the results will be declared on the same day of polling, the victorious candidates will take oath on October 15.