Vote counting for the Delhi University Students Union (DUSU) elections closed on Saturday, with results for the crucial central panel posts, including President, Vice-President, Secretary, and Joint Secretary. A total of 24 candidates vied for these positions in what marked the first DUSU election since 2019.
After counting was over the results were majorly in favour of Rashtriya Sawyamsevak Sangh affiliated student organisation Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad as they won three of the panel posts. ABVP's Tushar Dedha elected president of Delhi University Students Union (DUSU), defeats NSUI's Hitesh Gulia.
MoS for Railways and Textiles Darshana Jardosh congratulated the ABVP candidates for their win, she wrote on X, "This victory enunciates the collective faith of youth in Hon'ble PM Shri @narendramodi ji's policies and politics."
Union Minister Kiren Rijiju also posted on X saying, "Rahul Gandhi campaigned in Delhi University Students Union Election which helped ABVP to increase it's vote share! Congratulations to all the Winning Candidates of ABVP, it's cadres as well as all the wishers!"
ABVP's Aparajita and Sachin Baisla won the posts of secretary and joint secretary, respectively.
Meanwhile, the Vice president position was bagged by the Indian National Congress party affiliated National Students' Union of India candidate Abhi Dahiya.
The DUSU elections were notably absent in 2020 and 2021 due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, while disruptions to the academic calendar in 2022 further postponed their return. Chander Shekhar, the chief election officer overseeing the polls, reported a voter turnout of 42 percent. Approximately one lakh students were eligible to participate in the election, PTI reported.
Though the voter turnout inched higher than the 2019 election's 39.90 percent, it fell short of the impressive figures witnessed in 2018 (44.46 percent) and 2017 (42.8 percent). Voting for the central panel took place electronically at 52 colleges and departments, while college union polls utilized traditional paper ballots.
Student concerns revolved around core issues, including fee hikes, the scarcity of affordable accommodations, bolstered security measures during college events, and provisions for menstrual leaves.
Beyond the student body, political organizations viewed these elections as a barometer of youth sentiment, especially given their proximity to the upcoming Lok Sabha polls. The National Students' Union of India (NSUI), affiliated with the Congress party, claimed victories in 17 day colleges, while the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP), backed by the RSS, asserted wins in 34 colleges.
All four major political affiliations—the ABVP, NSUI, Students' Federation of India (SFI) supported by the CPI(M), and All India Students' Association (AISA) linked with the CPI(ML)-Liberation—fielded candidates for the central panel posts. In 2019, the ABVP secured three of the four central positions.
DUSU stands as the primary representative body for a majority of colleges and faculties within Delhi University, while individual colleges maintain their own students' unions, subject to annual elections.