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DUSU elections today; NSUI banks on anti BJP votes, AISA-CYSS join hands

The Delhi University Students Union (DUSU) elections are scheduled for Wednesday and the voting began at 8.30 am

PTI photo

S Khurram Raza

The Delhi University Students Union (DUSU) elections are scheduled for Wednesday and the voting began at 8.30 am. The votes will be counted on September 13 from 8.30 am at the Community Hall in Police Lines in Delhi's Kingsway Camp area.

This year the DUSU elections will witness a triangular contest. The Left wing’s main student organisation All India Students' Association (AISA) and the Aam Aadmi Party's student wing, Chhatra Yuva Sangharsh Samiti (CYSS) have decided to contest together. Then there are the two major student bodies — the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) and the National Students' Union of India (NSUI). Barring few occasions, when Students Federation of India(SFI) of the Left did well, it had been a direct contest between ABVP and NSUI.

With CYSS and AISA joining hands the contest is open. In 2015, when AAP made history by winning 67 assembly seats out of 70 assembly seats it hoped to repeat the show in DUSU elections that year hoping youths will back CYSS but it came distant third. But, the AAP student wing CYSS feels that by joining with the AISA, they can turn the tables.

“Just as the middle class of Delhi is divided between Congress and BJP, the students mostly follow these two parties” says Syed Suheb, former student of Zakir Hussain College. However, the reality remains that the Left has its own following whereas the OBC and SC/ST students follow AAP in Delhi.

Ali Mehdi, former student of Dayal Singh and head of Congress Minority Cell, says “Students who follow the Left always vote for the Left so they are not an issue for NSUI. OBC and SC/ST students will vote for Congress as they want to see ABVP defeated as NSUI is the only outfit which can defeat the ABVP.”

The NSUI nominated Sunny Chhillar for the DUSU president's post, Leena for the post of vice-president, Aakash Choudhary for secretary and Saurabh Yadav is the joint secretary candidate.

The ABVP has fielded Ankiv Basoya for the post of the president, Shakti Singh as the vice-presidential candidate, Sudhir for secretary and Jyoti Chaudhary for the post of joint secretary

The AISA-CYSS alliance has fielded Abhigyan for the DUSU president's post, Anshika for vice-president post, Chandramani Dev for secretary and Sunny Tanwar for joint secretary.

Former Minister Arvinder Singh Lovely is confident that NSUI will do well because students are angry with BJP because of unemployment and rising prices of petrol. Member Parliament Ramesh Bidhuri, who is the guiding force for ABVP, is also upbeat “Prime Minister Narender Modi is very popular among youths so they will vote for ABVP,” says Bidhuri.

There is a feeling that with CYSS in fray, ABVP would have an advantage as in the year 2015 when CYSS contested ABVP won all four seats with big margin but for last two years when CYSS didn’t contested NSUI did well and won crucial posts. But the students who were considered strength of AAP are now no more with AAP. The NSUI has fielded a Dalit girl to counter AISA-CYSS.

In year 2016 and 2017 CYSS did not contested elections citing that lyngdoh Committee recommendations are not implemented and too much of muscle and money power is involved but too everyone’s surprise the CYSS is contesting DUSU elections this year though there had been no change in the rules.

Delhi University VC appoints a Chief Election Officer and a team at each college to ensure a smooth and incident free elections. Despite all arrangements the supporters of ABVP Vice Presidential candidate Shakti Singh allegedly barged into Dr. Zakir Hussain (Evening) College and vandalised the whole college. The principal of the college Masroor Ahmad Baig had to call the police. "In the past years, it has been observed that the DUSU elections are losing its transparency as well as credibility. There are incidents of violence and the candidates face a number of problems said an NSUI member.

Election will be held in colleges of the two campus of the University today and the voting will start at 8:30 am and end at 7:30 pm. The results which will give an opportunity to peep into the minds of Urban youths will be declared on 13th September 2018. Delhi University Students Union elections are always watched keenly as it not only tells about the minds of the youths but also brings new faces into the active politics.

Here is a breakdown of how the students wing did in 2015 DUSU elections which shows that the split in non BJP votes has helped ABVP.

DUSU elections today; NSUI banks on anti BJP votes, AISA-CYSS join hands
DUSU elections today; NSUI banks on anti BJP votes, AISA-CYSS join hands

The Delhi University elections are closely watched as many DUSU candidates have gone on to become seasoned politicians. From current union finance minister Arun Jaitley to young congress spokesperson Ragini Nayak, there are a number of such politicians.

Former Union Minister and DPCC Chief Ajay Maken was the first DUSU President (1985) from science background. “Actually, no science student used to participate in elections and it was me who was the first student of science background to contest DUSU elections and I won also,” said Maken.

Alka Lamba now in AAP was elected DUSU President in 1995. Vijay Goel, Vijender Gupta, Amrita Dhawan, Vijay Jolly, Satish Upadhayay, Nupur Sharma are some names who have groomed from University politics to national politics.

Delhi University has always been a great political nursery for students. The students strength in DU is more then 1.25 lakh but only around 50% of the students cast their votes.

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