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DUSU polls: NSUI wins top posts; alleges ABVP won two seats via foul play

Priyata Brajabasi | Updated on: 13 September 2017, 22:40 IST

The National Students’ Union of India (NSUI), the student wing of the Indian National Congress, made a comeback by bagging the top two posts in the Delhi University Students’ Union (DUSU) elections on Wednesday.

NSUI’s Rocky Tuseed won the president’s post by a margin of 1,590 votes, while Kunal Sehrawat won the post of vice-president by defeating the ABVP candidate by 175 votes.

ABVP’s Mahamedha Nagar defeated NSUI’s Minakshi Meena by 2,624 votes to win the post of secretary.

Foul play

However, the NSUI, claimed foul play during the counting process, and has decided to move court for the recounting of votes for the post of joint secretary, which was earlier swaying in the favour of NSUI’s Avinash Yadav but was later won by ABVP candidate Uma Shankar by a margin of 342 votes.

Neeraj Mishra, spokesperson of the NSUI, told Catch, “Till about half an hour before the announcement of the joint secretary (JS) post, we were being told that NSUI was leading by a considerable margin. We were sure that the JS post was ours but suddenly it was announced that ABVP candidate won the post. Obviously some foul play has been done by ABVP against NSUI."

"The cameras were switched off at the counting centre while the votes for secretary and joint secretary were being counted. There were even reports of how ABVP has even cast a whole bunch of NOTA votes on behalf of some colleges. We have decided to move High Court asking for recounting of the votes of joint secretary post,” he adds.

However, Chief Election Officer SB Babbar, said there were no lapses in the counting. “DU is the only university which uses EVMs. NSUI is crying foul because they lost with a close margin. There were no ABVP leaders inside, nor from NSUI, only the candidates. The allegation of time lapse in the video is false.”

Electoral turnaround

However, winning the top two posts in the DUSU polls is a revival of sorts for the Congress party’s student wing. The last time the NSUI had swept the panel was in 2007 and last won the post of president in 2012. Last year, NSUI just managed to keep a foot in the DUSU panel with the post of joint secretary.

The newly-elected president, Rocky Tuseed, who replaces ABVP’s Amit Tanwar, told reporters, “We want to reclaim Delhi University from the hands of ABVP goons. The students and youth have finally recognised that lies and false promises of Achhe Din of the ruling government. This sentiment will soon reflect throughout the country. It is the comeback of the Congress party.”

Rajib Ray, the president of Delhi University Teachers’ Association (DUTA), told Catch, “It is the students’ mandate to choose the ideology that represents them and this is the reflection of just that. While we as teachers do not support one student’s party over the other, it is the ideology that counts. Students have rejected fascist policies of the ruling government that has adversely affected Delhi University. DUTA, along with FEDCUTA, has gone all out against the govt over their anti-teacher and anti-students policies. That has reflected in the students’ opinion as well today.”

No impact on national politics

Meanwhile, Delhi BJP chief Manoj Tiwari said linking the loss of two seats in DU to the reputation of BJP or Prime Minister Narendra Modi is ‘childish’.

He told Catch, “Student union elections do not decide national politics. The views of few students in Delhi cannot reflect the mood of the city or nation for that matter. Congress has lost its support, it is the fact. Winning students’ union election does not mean that the party has made a comeback. Plus, we haven’t even lost; we have retained 2 out of 4 seats.

However, it must be noted that 15% of the votes cast (29,765 out of 1,87,362) in the polls were NOTA votes. Even the voter turnout during the election was only 43%.

Catch spoke to some students of North Campus who said, “One candidate contested from our college as an independent candidate and he was beaten up and asked to withdraw. The candidates contesting in DU elections have massive political and financial backing. They come in big cars and just show their faces maybe once or not at all. While their party supporters do all the work. The supporters are all mostly goons.They raid our classrooms and classes are disrupted. They come in sloganeering, screaming and shouting, but no one knows what the manifestos are about. A simple student cannot contest elections in Delhi University at all. For most of us, whether ABVP or NSUI or any other party win, it hardly matters.”

Meanwhile, Congress President Sonia Gandhi is scheduled to meet the winner NSUI office bearers later today. Many Congress leaders including Rahul Gandhi have congratulated the NSUI on their win in DUSU polls.

First published: 13 September 2017, 22:40 IST
Priyata Brajabasi @PriyataB

Priyata thinks in words and delivers in pictures. The marriage of the two, she believes, is of utmost importance. Priyata joined the Catch team after working at Barcroft Media as a picture desk editor. Prior to that she was on the Output Desk of NDTV 24X7. At work Priyata is all about the news. Outside of it, she can't stay far enough. She immerses herself in stories through films, books and television shows. Oh, and she can eat. Like really.