The Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad on Thursday won the president, vice president and the joint secretary posts in the Delhi University Students’ Union elections. The post of secretary was won by the National Students’ Union of India.
The ABVP’s Ankiv Basoya won the president’s post, while Shakti Singh and Jyoti Choudhary won the vice president and joint secretary posts. NSUI’s candidate Akash Choudhary won the post of secretary.
Earlier in the day, the counting of votes was suspended due to “faulty EVMs and the students’ uproar over it”, a university official told PTI. “We had proposed rectification of the faulty EVMs and resumption of the counting but the students were not ready for it,” an election officer said. “It was decided to suspend counting. A fresh date for the counting will be announced soon.”
The office of the Chief Electoral Officer in Delhi clarified that the EVMs used in the students’ union elections were not allotted to the university by the Election Commission. “It seems that the DU has procured these machines privately,” the office said in a statement, according to PTI. “A detailed report in this regard will be sent subsequently as all the officials of DU are not available and busy in their election process at present.”
NSUI leader Ruchi Gupta alleged “some sabotage” was carried out to help the ABVP. “NSUI was winning DUSU President and Secretary [posts] after 6 rounds [of counting],” she said. “Then six EVMs started malfunctioning and EC [Election Commission] wanted to set those aside. How is it that machines which were working till yesterday during polling are no longer working during counting? Clearly some sabotage to help ABVP.”
ABVP member Shakti Singh, however, said only one machine had malfunctioned and that “it can be repaired”. “We want the counting to be resumed,” Singh said. “Since we were leading in all the seats, the other parties are demanding fresh elections.”
Around 1.35 lakh students had voted to elect representatives to the students union on Wednesday. Twenty-three candidates contested the elections. The voter turnout was 44.6%, higher than last year’s 43%, according to the Hindustan Times.
The Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad, the National Students’ Union of India, and the Aam Aadmi Party’s student wing in alliance with the Chhatra Yuva Sangharsh Samiti and All India Students’ Association are in the fray.
As part of its election promises, the National Students’ Union of India had promised to obtain the “Institute of Eminence” tag for Delhi University and thalis for Rs 10. The Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad had promised to spend 50% of the student’s union budget on activities related to women and social justice, along with special attention to promoting sports and installing sanitary pad vending machines on campuses.
AAP’s student wing promised to ensure installation of CCTV cameras, setting up of police booths on campuses, ending the “culture of hooliganism”, and opposing commercialisation of education.