JNUSU polls: Voting underway; students accuse dean of interference

JNUSU poll committee on Friday accused the Dean of Students of “interfering” in the election process by entering the polling venue when first phase of voting was underway

NH Photo by Vipin
NH Photo by Vipin

PTI

The JNUSU poll committee on Friday accused the Dean of Students of "interfering" in the election process by entering the polling venue when first phase of voting was underway.

Total 14 candidates are in fray for the keenly contested polls for which first phase of polling was held from 9.30 am to 1 pm. While the second phase is from 2.30 pm to 5.30 pm, the counting will commence from 9 pm onwards and the results are likely to be declared on Sunday.

"The Grievance Redressal Cell (GRC) chairman who is also the Dean of Students Affair interfered in the election process by coming inside the polling venue. This is a clear violation of the Lyngdoh Committee Recommendations and also a High Court order," said Shashank Patel, Chairperson of the Election Committee.

He, however, did not comment on the action by the poll panel on the violation.

The Dean of Students, Umesh Kadam, did not respond to calls and messages for a comment on the issue.

As polling was underway, supporters of various political outfits were seen flocking outside voting centres and raising slogans.

While Left supporters were raising slogans of "Lal Salaam" with red colour smeared over their faces and daflis in their hands, chants of "Bharat of Mata ki Jai" and "Vande Mataram" reverberated among members of RSS-affiliate ABVP.

"We are confident of retaining all four seats. People outside may say anything but those in JNU are wise enough to see through what is being fed to the country in name of development, " said Aishe Ghosh, who is contesting for the Presidential post.

Ghosh, a member of Students' Federation of India (SFI), has been fielded by the Left unity, an alliance which comprises her outfit besides All India Students' Association (AISA), Students' Federation of India (SFI), Democratic Students' Federation (DSF) and All India Students' Federation (AISF).

"All arrangements have been made by the election authorities for the polls which will see 8,700 students casting their votes through ballot papers," the CEC said.

Amid slogans of 'Jai Bhim', 'Lal Salaam', 'Vande Mataram', some booing and a minor clash, the presidential debate was held at the JNU campus late Wednesday.

The event, a sought-after affair, on the lines of the US presidential debates and will be a deciding factor for the union elections.

The Left Unity and Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) has also fielded candidates for all the posts while the Congress-affiliated National Students' Union of India (NSUI) has fielded a candidate for the president's post.

The Birsa Ambedkar Phule Students' Association (BAPSA) is contesting for posts of president and general secretary, while the Chhatra Rashtriya Janata Dal, students' wing of the RJD, will be contesting for the posts of president and vice president.

Independent candidate Raghavendra Mishra who dresses up in saffron robes and is called Yogi of JNU is also contesting for the post of president.

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