Campaigning Tactics Irk Students as Thousands Vote at DU Polls
Agents of the different student outfits, backed by various political parties, are trying hard to woo students.
Thousands of students voted on Friday to elect the new office bearers of the Delhi University Students Union (DUSU). The voting was scheduled in two phases at 50 polling centres in 42 colleges and eight departments of the university.
Agents of the different student outfits, backed by various political parties, tried hard to persuade students to vote for their respective candidates, some even putting out ads on the radio.
A total of 17 candidates are in the fray for the four posts, including president, vice-president, secretary and joint secretary of DUSU. While seven of them are in the race for the post of DUSU president, four are fighting for the vice-president’s seat. The results are scheduled to be declared on Saturday.
Use of Money in Campaigning Irks Students
While DUSU polls have been a platform to flaunt money and muscle power over the years, campaigners hurtling around campus in expensive open-roof cars and littering campus roads with election pamphlets to ‘woo voters’ has left many university students annoyed this time around.
A cap of Rs 5,000 was put on election expenses per candidate in 2006, but the on-ground implementation of the rule remains a challenge in DU despite the varsity issuing strict directives and roping in MCD and Delhi Police to take action against defaulters.
The campaigners have hired expensive cars like Audi, BMW and SUV having open sun roofs and are throwing away pamphlets advertising their choice of candidates. It is an utter nuisance.Ruchi, MA Student, Delhi University
A first year student of Kirorimal college, Vikas added:
Another way the parties tried to woo the candidates is by distributing free movie tickets and by throwing parties and making the canteen food available for free.
Political Parties Refute Charges, Calls Them “Tactics”
Student wings of various political parties, however, said they have not indulged in any show of money power and these are “tactics” of their rival groups to defame them.
There are certain posters splashed across DU in name of ABVP having a picture of Priyanka Chopra. We haven’t pasted any such poster and this is a conspiracy against us.ABVP Office Bearer
Amrita Dhawan of NSU also claimed that her party was only resorting to “handmade posters” and were ‘trying’ to keep their “expenditure within the permissible budget.”
While the political slug-fest at DU has over the decades been between Congress-affiliated National Students’ Union of India (NSUI) and RSS’ student wing Akhil Bhartiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP), left-affiliated All India Students Association (AISA) is vying for the central panel posts with a series of campaigns held by the outfit in recent months to thwart the alleged attempts of attacks on university campuses across the country.
(This article was published in an arrangement with IANS.)
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