The RSS-affiliated ABVP on Saturday won three central panel posts, including that of president, in the Delhi University Students Union (DUSU) and the Congress’ student wing NSUI bagged the remaining one, according to officials.
While Aparajita defeated NSUI’s Yakshana Sharma by a margin of 12,937 votes, Baisla defeated the Congress student wing’s Shubham Kumar Chaudhary by a margin of 9,995 votes.
The counting of votes for the DUSU’s central panel posts of president, vice-president, secretary and joint secretary concluded on Saturday evening. The election was held on Friday.
Union minister Kiren Rijiju congratulated the winning candidates of the ABVP.
“#ABVP sweeps #DUSU. Rahul Gandhi campaigned in Delhi University Students Union Election which helped ABVP to increase its vote share! Congratulations to all the Winning Candidates of ABVP, it’s cadres as well as all the wishers!” the minister posted on X.
BJP MP and party youth wing president Tejasvi Surya posted, “Congratulations to Team ABVP on winning the DUSU elections. A clear indication of the ideological positions that our students and young are taking in the country. Vande Mataram.”
The NSUI thanked its activists and supporters for the victory in the post of vice-president.
In a post on X, it said, “Congratulations to Abhi Dahiya for securing victory in the post of Vice President in the Delhi University students’ union elections. We would like to thank all the supporters and activists of the NSUI This victory belongs to you. We pledge to keep raising the voice of common students across the nation.”
The DUSU elections have always seen a direct fight between the ABVP and the National Students’ Union of India (NSUI). The ABVP won three of the four seats in the 2019 elections as well.
The DUSU elections were last held in 2019. The polls could not be held in 2020 and 2021 due to COVID-19 while possible disruptions to the academic calendar prevented their conduct in 2022.
Twenty-four candidates were in the fray for the four posts this year.
Chander Shekhar — the chief election officer for the polls — said the university recorded a voter turnout of 42 per cent. Around one lakh students were eligible to vote in the election.
While the voting percentage was higher than in 2019 when a turnout of 39.90 per cent was recorded, it failed to surpass the nearly 11-year-high figure of 2018.
The turnouts in 2018 and 2017 were 44.46 per cent and 42.8 per cent, respectively.
Elections at 52 colleges and departments for the central panel were conducted through electronic voting machines (EVMs) while voting for the college union polls was on paper ballots.
For the students, core issues ranged from fee hikes to the lack of affordable accommodations, enhanced security during college fests and menstrual leaves.
The ABVP, Congress-affiliated NSUI, CPI(M)-backed Students’ Federation of India (SFI) and the CPI(ML)-Liberation-linked All India Students’ Association (AISA) had fielded candidates for all four central posts.
The DUSU is the main representative body for most colleges and faculties. Each college also has its own students’ union, elections to which are held annually.