The Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) made a comeback this year in the Delhi University Students’ Union polls, winning the post of president, vice-president and retaining the position of joint secretary. The Congress-backed National Students’ Union of India (NSUI) won only the post of secretary.
Counting of votes was halted for five hours Thursday, following allegations of “faulty EVMs” by student organisations, before it resumed in the evening.
Though it was expected to be a three-cornered fight between the ABVP, NSUI and the joint panel of the All India Students’ Association (AISA) and AAP’s Chattra Yuva Sangarsh Samiti (CYSS), the fight was squarely between the ABVP and NSUI.
ABVP’s winning margins are larger this year, while their vote share has also increased to 33.04% from last year’s 30.13%. Likewise, the NSUI’s vote share also increased from 29.04% to 29.48%.
Winning the post of president, MA Buddhist Studies student Ankiv Basoya got 20,467 votes. NSUI’s Sunny Chillar lost to Basoya by a margin of 1,744 votes. Last year, NSUI had won the post by a margin of 1,590.
Shakti Singh of ABVP, a student of Law Faculty, won the post of vice-president with the largest vote margin – 7,673.
NSUI’s lone winner, Aakash Choudhary, secured 20,198 votes for the post of secretary.
Basoya attributed the win to the work done by the organsiation: “Students know that NSUI didn’t do much work last year. We will provide better facilities.”
Some NSUI members attributed the loss to CYSS eating into their vote share. The last time CYSS contested elections was in 2015. NSUI Delhi state president Akshay Lakra attributed their loss to issues in the EVMs.
AISA-CYSS panel came in at a distant third. The presidential candidate got 8,019 votes, while the vice-president candidate got 7,339 votes. The panel’s candidate for the post of secretary secured lesser votes (4,582) than NOTA (6,810). The joint panel’s vote share was 12.51%, while AISA’s vote share last year was 13.43%.
Counting day marred by violence
Around noon, NSUI pointed out that one of the EVMs was showing a ballot number that had no candidate. In the midst of violence by students of both organisations, counting was suspended and restarted after 5.30 pm. It was first time in DU’s history that counting was suspended. NSUI called the EVM episode highly biased on part of the DU administration.
NSUI and the ABVP members resorted to breaking windows when they were not allowed to leave the centre — with former DUSU secretary and ABVP’s Mahamedhaa Nagar, and former DUSU president, NSUI’s Rocky Tuseed, finally getting out by dodging police.
Political parties also issued statements on the EVM malfunction. AAP leader Gopal Rai said, “We have seen this (EVM tampering) earlier as well. This situation not only raises concern, but is also a serious threat to democracy.”