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SAHIWAL: There is 80 per cent reduction in the number of constituents for the upcoming election of the Academic Council of the Bahauddin Zakariya University (BZU), Multan Out of 260 BZU affiliated colleges, only 43 (16 per cent) are participating in the May 8 poll for six posts reserved for teachers and as many for principals of affiliated colleges.

The main reason behind the reduction of constituents and colleges is the BZU decision of char​ging Rs 500 as voter registration fee. Earlier, there was no voter registration fee.

Dr. Muhammad Umer, the returning officer/BZU registrar, told Dawn by phone that 619 constituents from 43 affiliated colleges had been registered as valid voters in final voters list. He said the list could be obtained by submitting Rs 2,500 with the university account. During the last AC election, around 3,000 constituents had participated.

Mr Qaiser Sajad, a lecturer at the Govt Degree College, Lodhran, said it was first time the BZU was charging for the voters’ list as well.

Defending the decision, Dr Umar said the VC had taken the decision under rules.

The AC election is contested by affiliated colleges spread over nine districts – Layyah, Sahiwal, Khanewal, Vehari, Multan, Muzaffargarth, Lodheran, Rajanpur and D.G. Khan.

Mrs Sabiha Hashmi of the Govt College for Women, Layyah, said that instead of selling voters list the university should upload it on its website free of cost so that candidates could identify voters’ location before launching their campaign.

The last date for submission of nomination papers is March 19 and the final list of candidates will be displayed on April 5.

Published in Dawn, March 1st, 2018