DU Elections Herald the Winds of Change

For students of Delhi University, it is common sight to see the winning candidates in any year’s student elections being fielded by the ABVP, the RSS-affiliated right wing student organisation that has till now commanded the majority support. But not anymore. If the recently concluded DUSU elections send a message, it is that ABVP is not the most popular party anymore. The stunning defeat of the ABVP, only to give over its stronghold to the Congress backed NSUI shows that BJP is losing its hold over campuses.

It is true that the ABVP was not totally decimated in the elections. NSUI won only the President and Vice-Presidential positions, while the other two of General Secretary and Joint Secretary were retained by ABVP. It is also true that statistically, the best performer in the election was still the ABVP candidate for secretary, Mahamedhaa Nagar who defeated her NSUI rival by 2624 votes to win the post of secretary. Her win was still the biggest margin. However, what counts more is that NSUI has made a comeback and a stunning one at that. For the last five years, ABVP has dominated the student politics scene in Delhi, leaving no leeway for other parties to set foot. Since 2012, NSUI has never held an important position in DUSU and while this may be a half-triumph, it is still a triumph.

ABVP’s shocking loss should sound the alarm bells for the BJP and the Modi-brigade which has thus far captured the imagination of the youth across campuses. Students across the world do not like being dictated to and Indian students are no different. With the Modi brigade dictating terms on cow vigilantism, coupled with the lack of tolerance and the alarming rise of Hindutva across the country, it should be of no surprise that the students have swung to the age old challenger of the BJP, the Congress and chosen to put their faith in them. This is certainly a reaction to the brand of hyper nationalism propagated by the centre, which has backfired against them. Moreover, the ABVP has been on a rampage of violence and disruption, with the Rohith Vemula suicide last year, the upheaval in JNU and the Ramjas incident early this year. On every one of these occasions, the ABVP was the muscular aggressor and on the receiving end of much criticism from left-wing liberals.

And NSUI’s win in DU is not a one-off incident. This is simply a follow up of the impressive performances by the outfit in the recent polls in Guwahati, Rajasthan and Punjab Universities. This is the concert result of the educated and urban youth taking up arms against the divisive and polarising politics wielded by the ABVP in every election it participates in. This is a wake-up call to Narendra Modi and Amit Shah. Ironically, the latter had termed ABVP’s victory in DUSU polls last year as the triumph of nationalism. The DUSU election is definitely a reflection of the current mood among the youngsters, who are witnessing a polarising of the country under the current government.

However, it is not all hunky-dory for the NSUI. This year’s election also saw a huge jump in NOTA votes, from less than 10% last year to 16.5% this year. This can only portray a certain disillusionment with the student wings of mainstream political parties and should be a cause of worry for both the Congress and the BJP. It is also to be noted that more students availed of the NOTA option in the DUSU elections than the JNSUSU elections. Nonetheless, the DUDU results should be doing much to boost the sagging morale of the Congress, which sadly, does not remain a key player at the centre politics any longer.

Sources: The Quint, Hindustan Times

Congress backed NSUI to move Delhi High Court over tampering in DUSU elections

The Congress-backed National Students Union of India has claimed they have won three instead of two of the top four posts in the Delhi University Student Union elections. NSUI decided to move the Delhi High Court to prove this.

They alleged the personal involvement of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Amit Shah tampered the results of the elections.

According to India Today, Girish Chodankar, the AICC secretary in charge of NSUI told IANS, NSUI won three out four seats in the elections which included that of the President, Vice-President and the Joint Secretary. But the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP), the BJP student wing, subsequently got the Joint Secretary post.

“We have asked the election committee to recount votes, if they do not do it by the end of the day, we will approach the Delhi High Court to contest the result. This is a matter of shame for the BJP that they have to manipulate results to ensure that ABVP wins,” IANS quoted Chodankar as saying.

According to Scroll.in, the party’s National Media In-Charge Neeraj Mishra told IANS, many CCTVs were dysfunctional and complained about the presence of ABVP and Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh officials in the counting center.

However, Chief Election Officer S.B Babbar assured that there were no loopholes in the elections since Delhi University is the only one using Electronic Voting Machine (EVMs).

Elections took place on Tuesday and the counting happened early on Wednesday. The turnout recorded was 43%, a near 10% increase since 2016.

 

Sources: India Today, Scroll.in 

Image Source: HT