The RSS-affiliated ABVP on Friday swept the Delhi University Students' Union (DUSU) polls, winning three of the four posts including that of the president, while the Congress' student wing NSUI bagged the secretary post. The Akhil Bhartiya Vidyarthi Parishad's (ABVP) Akshit Dahiya, won the post of DUSU president, trouncing the National Students Union of India's (NSUI) Chetna Tyagi by a margin of 19,039 votes, the highest in the last two decades.
Celebrations broke out outside the counting centre in Kingsway Camp with supporters dancing to beats of drums and rose petals being showered on the winners. The ABVP's Pradeep Tanwar bagged the vice-president's post by defeating Ankit Bharti of the NSUI by 8,574 votes.
The RSS-affiliated students' outfit lost the secretary post to NSUI by a margin of 2,053 votes. Ashish Lamba of the NSUI, who was celebrating his 24th birthday on Friday, defeated ABVP's Yogit Rathi to emerge as the lone winner from NSUI. ABVP's Shivangi Kharwal was the only woman candidate to emerge victorious. She bagged the joint secretary's post by bagging 17,234 votes. Abhishek Chaprana of NSUI got 14,320 votes.
Even before the results were announced, ABVP members started gathering at the counting centre in Kingsway Camp with garlands for their winners. The NSUI, which was assured about Lamba's win, also started shouting his name and danced in glee. The ABVP winners, wearing garlands, took out a victory procession to the university's Arts Faculty, where they climbed near the bust of Swami Vivekananda and shouted the names of their winning candidates amid 'Bharat Mata ki Jai' and 'Vande Mataram' slogans.
The 20-year-old Dahiya, who the ABVP claimed that he might be the youngest candidate to win the president's post, said, "This is not a win of any particular region but of ABVP workers who worked tirelessly through the year. We should raise slogans for ABVP." Meanwhile, the Left-backed All India Students' Association (AISA) saw moral victory in the results as the outfit said that it noted an increase in its vote share with its candidates giving a tough fight to the "ABVP's money and muscle power".
AISA's presidential candidate Damini Kain polled 5,886 votes, their vice-presidential candidate Aftab Alam 8,217 votes, secretary candidate Vikas Kumar received 6,804 votes while their joint secretary candidate Chetna received 10,836 votes. Chetna, a first year student of Miranda House and who claimed to be the first girl from her village in Rajasthan to go to college, was the youngest candidate in the DUSU polls. After the results, AISA supporters also raised slogans in favour of its candidates with Chetna receiving the loudest cheers.
"Our joint secretary candidate Chetna got over 10,000 votes. The party's vote share has improved since last year. We are happy about it," an AISA functionary said. According to election officials, in total 57,299 votes were polled. In the polls for DUSU president post, 5,495 voters pressed the None of the Above (NOTA) button while in the polls for vice-president's post 7,879 students exercised the option.
In the poll for DUSU secretary post, 6,507 students pressed the NOTA button whereas 7,695 chose the option in election for joint secretary post. The ABVP claimed that the victory margin in the president's post is the highest in 50 years. In 2014, Ashish Mathur of ABVP had won the post of Joint Secretary by a margin of over 11,800 votes, it said.
The NSUI said that its candidate Lamba's victory in the secretary post, signalled the win of issue-based politics over the "RSS' statue politics". "The ABVP fielded Yogit Rathi who was college president of Ramjas College when the violence took place in 2017. The students have given a clear mandate against violence," NSUI's Delhi president Akshay Lakra said.
The ABVP dedicated its win to Arun Jaitley, who was DUSU president in 1970s. Former finance minister Jaitley died at the AIIMS here on August 24 after battling multiple health issues for the last several months. He was 66. "We dedicate this win to Arun Jaitley ji. He is not in amongst us, but we have learnt many things from him," Dahiya, the newly elected DUSU president, said.
The voter turnout in the polls on Thursday was recorded at 39.90 per cent, over four percentage points down over last year. In 2018, the election saw a 44.46 per cent voters turnout. The polling for four positions of the DUSU ended amid allegations of EVM malfunctioning. Sixteen candidates, including four women, were in the fray and 52 polling centres were set up.
Over 1.3 lakh students were eligible to cast their vote. As many as 144 EVMs were used for students' union polls and 137 were used for college union polls.
(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)