New Delhi, Sep 9 (IANS) Thousands of students on Friday voted to elect the new office- bearers of the Delhi University Students Union (DUSU), with officials putting the voting percentage at 45.38 per cent in the first phase.
There are a total of 1,23,421 voters in Delhi University. Voting for DUSU, as happens every year, was scheduled in two phases at 50 polling centres in 42 colleges and eight departments of the varsity.
The polling agents of different student outfits, backed by various political parties, tried their level best to woo the students and persuade them to vote for their respective candidates.
“Chocolates were distributed by National Students Union India and Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad members in and around the north campus. Students in Khalsa College were taken to watch Jurassic Park movie,” a first year student Sonya Singh from the Hindu College told IANS.
A total of 17 candidates are in the fray for the four DUSU posts, including president, vice-president, secretary and joint secretary.
While seven of them are in the race for the post of DUSU president, four are fighting for the vice-president’s seat.
“We voted for All India Students’ Association (AISA) as they don’t believe in showing money power and there was no paper wastage by the student party. They came to our classes, spoke about our problems and narrated their agendas. They work at the ground level; hence we support them,” Botany Honours students Ritika Siddiqui and Himandri Shekhar from the Hindu College told IANS.
“So much paper was used for campaigning by the NSUI and the ABVP. We as members of the environment society of the college went around our campus and collected all the waste paper,” they added.
A political science Honours student from Kirori Mal College said: “I am a BJP supporter and hence voted for the ABVP. I really feel that they can work pretty well, taking inspiration from (Prime Minister) Narendra Modi and others in the party.”
While the first phase began at 8.30 a.m. and ended at 12.30 p.m., the second shift was from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. and both went off peacefully, Chief Election Officer for DUSU polls D.S. Rawat said.
“It was an awesome experience to vote for the first time. I am aged 17 and not eligible to elect my government. But I felt responsible about getting a chance to elect my leaders at the university level,” said a Chemistry Honours first year student from Hindu College, who didn’t want to be named.
“The campaigning was really enjoyable due to free food and movie tickets. NSUI members took us to McDonald’s and treated our entire department,” he added.
A Law Department student said because of late admissions, many students were clueless about the candidates.
“Admissions happened very late due to protests this year. So, I have no clue about who all are contesting. I didn’t go to cast my vote,” said a LLB second year student Suhani Bhatia.
Noting that complete transparency in poll process is important, Rawat said: “We had deployed observers to keep a tab on the elections. Videography of the DUSU polls is being done and eight closed-circuit television have also been set up in the election office.”
“Counting of votes will start tomorrow (Saturday) at 8 a.m. and results will be announced by noon,” Rawat said.