Extensive campaigning across Delhi University over the past weeks culminated in long queues at several colleges as students turned up to cast their votes to select their next students’ union.
The North Campus of Delhi University was seen painted in the colours of the student union elections. Tea stalls and eateries were decorated with posters bearing candidates’ names and photos while pamphlets were strewn all over Delhi University’s North Campus as students waited to cast their votes for the university’s student body elections.
Supporters of various student groups were seen raising slogans at the campus intersection, reiterating the poll promises of the student organisations taking part in the Delhi University Students Union (DUSU) election.
The Ratan Tata Library and JP tea stall have become a hub of discussions over the election. Many first-year students were seen filming the scenes on the campus. They also took selfies after casting their votes.
Voting for the student union elections had started since morning. At many places, students who came to vote for the first time were presented with roses. In some places, security personnel were seen using drones to monitor the overall scenario. Besides, in some spots, arrangements were made to provide cold drinking water to the students who came to vote.
During the Delhi University Students’ Union (DUSU) polls on Friday, the National Students’ Union of India (NSUI) claimed that fake voting was conducted at Lakshmibai College, adding the college administration was also involved in the irregularities. Hitting out at the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP), the NSUI said “Delhi University has become a puppet in the hands of the ABVP”. The varsity, however, has dismissed the allegations.
Meanwhile, the ABVP has dismissed the NSUI claims as “lies”, saying “the students are voting of their own free will and a lot of enthusiasm can be seen among the students regarding voting”. ABVP’s Aparajita, who is contesting for the post of Secretary, said, “I am visiting various colleges of Delhi University. I am appealing to all the students of Delhi University, especially the girl students, to cast a vote for ABVP.”
“ABVP is the only student organisation that has fought for women’s rights on the campus and women’s empowerment in the university. I fully believe and request that our sisters at Delhi University will exercise their right to vote in favour of ABVP,” she added. NSUI Delhi in-charge Nitish Gaur said the university administration was pressurising people “to vote in favour of the other group”. NSUI claimed that they have won in ARSD, Moti Lal Nehru morning, Sri Venkateshwara, Ram Lal Anand, Aryabhatt, Deshbandu, Sri Aurobindo morning, Ramjas, KM college, Campus Law center 2 posts, Satyawati morning, Miranda, Zakir Hussain morning, Shyam Lal colleges.
The ABVP has claimed to retain seats in PGDAV college, Dayal Singh, Aditi Mahavidhayala, Ramanujan college, Bhagat Singh college, Aurobindo college, Laxmibai college, Rajdhani college, Keshav Mahavidayalya, Bhagini Nivedita college, Deshbandu college, College of Vocational Studies, Bhaskaracharya college.
This year 24 candidates are in the fray for the DUSU polls being held after a gap of three years. While students of day classes were allowed to cast their votes till 1 pm, those from the evening classes could cast their votes from 3 pm to 7:30 pm. Around one lakh students are eligible to vote in the election, which also acts as a stepping stone for budding politicians.
Around 500 security personnel have been deployed at Delhi University’s North Campus alone for the election. Adequate arrangements have also been made in the university’s South Campus for the polls.