Hundreds of students thronged Delhi University (DU) and colleges since morning for casting their votes to elect the office-bearers of the Delhi University Students' Union (DUSU) 2018-19. There are 1.35 lakh student voters in Delhi University and about 44.46 per cent of the total number of votes were polled till 7.30 pm.
The polling was held in two shifts separately for the morning and evening colleges amid heavy police deployment. The polling in the morning colleges started at 8.30 am and lasted till 1 pm. There were 52 polling centres with about 760 EVM's for conducting the elections. In evening colleges, voting was held in between 3 pm and 7.30 pm.
Several senior faculty members were posted as observers at the 52 voting centres spread all across Delhi University (DU) and its colleges. However more rush was witnessed in morning as compared to the evening colleges for voting. The voting percentage went down in the second shift.
About 700 police personnel were reportedly deployed to man the elections in the north campus of DU itself. Heavy police presence was also there at the south campus of DU.
The polls largely went on peacefully except certain complaints about the delay in start of voting at Vivekananda College, allegedly due to late arrival of EVM meant for conducting voting for the treasurer post of the college union. Also at the Lakshmibai College the NSUI members alleged that the counting of the votes for the office bearers of the college union was stopped arbitrarily.
The counting of votes for the central panel of DUSU will start at 8:30 am on September 13 in the Community Hall, Police Lines, Kingsway Camp, Delhi. Last year, the DUSU polls saw a 42.8 per cent voter turnout. This year there are 23 candidates in fray for the 4 posts of DUSU central panel.
The Congress party's students wing the National Students' Union of India (NSUI) have promised the "Institute of Eminence" tag to the DU and food thali for Rs 10 to woo voters. The RSS affiliated Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) has promised to spend 50 per cent of the student union's budget on women and on gender justice. The ABVP also promised to lay special emphasis on sports in the university and installing sanitary pad vending machines in colleges. The Aam Aadmi Party's student wing, the Chhatra Yuva Sangharsh Samiti (CYSS) and All India Students Association (AISA) are contesting the polls in alliance. The alliance has promised installation of CCTV cameras, setting up of police booths on campus, "Chhatra -Clinic" in ending the "culture of hooliganism" and opposing commercialisation of education.
It is speculated that the post of DUSU president may fall either to NSUI or ABVP as a tough competition is witnessed between their presidential candidates. Ankiv Basoya is contesting for DUSU president from ABVP while NSUI has fielded Sunny Chillar. While the post of DUSU vice-president is likely to fall into ABVP's bag as the popularity of its Vice-presidential candidate Shakti Singh surpasses that of NSUI's candidate Leena. Many of the voters who voted at Law Faculty north campus and colleges around Kalkaji area said that there is a wave for ABVP at Vice-Presidential post contested by the Shakti Singh. While NSUI have a chance of winning secretary post a tough fight is witnessed between CYSS-AISA and ABVP candidate for the joint secretary post.