The RSS-backed Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) on Friday won three posts, including that of the president, in the Delhi University Students’ Union (DUSU) polls. Congress-backed National Students’ Union of India (NSUI) bagged the post of the secretary in the polls. Celebrations took place outside the counting centre in Kingsway Camp with supporters dancing to beats of the 'dhol' and rose petals being showered on the winners. The winners wearing garlands proceeded to the varsity's Arts Faculty, from where they will take out a victory march.
The voting for the polls was completed on Thursday, September 12, and the voting turnout was recorded at 39.90% -- over four percent less than the previous year. In 2018, the election saw a 44.46% voter turnout. According to PTI, hot and humid weather, holidays in colleges and disenchantment of students with the politics were cited as reasons for the lower turnout. Thursday was declared a holiday for students on account of it being the nelection day, so students did not turn up to cast their votes, said some student leaders. The polling for four positions of the union ended amid allegations of EVM malfunctioning. Sixteen candidates, including four women, were in the fray.
Fifty-two polling centres were set up for the 1.3 lakh students that were eligible to cast their votes. As many as 144 EVMs were used for the DUSU polls and 137 were used for college union polls. On Thursday, polling began in the morning colleges at 9:30 am and ended at 1 pm, while in the evening colleges, it commenced at 3 pm and went on till 7:30 pm.
The counting began on Friday after a delay of almost two hours, as opposed to the scheduled timing of 8.30 am, as most of the candidates turned up late. The screens which show the live counting faced technical issues and the counting had to be paused for a while as the candidates demanded that they be made functional. The counting was resumed after one screen started functioning. Initially, only one EVM's votes were being counted, but later after all the screens started functioning, counting of votes on four electronic voting machines began.
Ashwit Dahiya of the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) defeated National Students’ Union of India (NSUI)'s Chetna Tyagi for the president's post by a margin of over 19,000 votes.
The posts of vice president and joint secretary were won by ABVP's Pradeep Tanwar and Shivangi Kharwal by a margin of 8,574 and 2,914 votes, respectively. NSUI bagged the secretary's post with its candidate Ashish Lamba defeating ABVP's Yogi Rathee by a margin of 2,053 votes.
"ABVP fielded Yogi Rathee who was college president of Ramjas College when the violence took place in 2017. The students have given a clear mandate against violence," NSUI's Akshay Lakra told PTI.
The Left-backed All India Students Association (AISA) expressed happiness over improvement in their vote share. "Our Joint Secretary candidate Chetna got over 10,000 votes. The party's vote share has improved since last year. We are happy about it," an AISA functionary told PTI. Chetna received 10,876 votes, while AISA’s candidates for the posts of president, vice president, and secretary got 5,886, 8,217, and 6,804 votes respectively.