Delhi University is abuzz with anticipation as it gears up for the long-awaited student union elections, marking a return to democratic student governance after a three-year hiatus. The elections, scheduled for today, have ignited a sense of excitement among DU students, particularly the first-time voters.
To ensure a smooth voting process, the university administration has deployed approximately 600 Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) across various college campuses, with support from police and technical personnel. College principals have also taken measures to maintain a peaceful voting atmosphere.
The Delhi University Students' Union (DUSU) elections were last conducted in 2019, with subsequent cancellations in 2020 and 2021 due to the pandemic and in 2022 due to academic disruptions. This year, 24 candidates are vying for positions within the student body.
The candidates represent a diverse array of student affiliations, including the RSS-affiliated Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP), the Congress students' wing National Students' Union of India (NSUI), the CPI(M)-backed Students' Federation of India, and the CPI-ML(Liberation)-affiliated All India Students' Association (AISA).
While the ABVP aims to address issues such as scholarships for marginalized students and fairness in education costs, the NSUI's manifesto includes proposals for menstrual leave, a violence-free campus, and various student-friendly amenities.
However, amidst the fervor of democracy, tensions between the NSUI and ABVP have escalated, with both groups trading accusations of creating disturbances on campus.
Congress leader Kanhaiya Kumar expressed concern over the recent incidents of violence at Delhi University, emphasizing the university's reputation as a hub for students from all over the world.
ABVP's Ashutosh Singh, on the other hand, alleged that NSUI members had infiltrated campus disguised as female students and attacked an ABVP candidate's car.
The DUSU elections are significant, as they coincide with polls at the college level, involving approximately 2,500 students vying for nearly 500 positions. This electoral process serves as a stepping stone for aspiring politicians and plays a vital role in shaping the university's student representation.
With around one lakh students expected to cast their votes, the DUSU elections are not just a democratic exercise but also a pivotal event in the lives of many budding politicians