The Delhi University campus is a chaotic place to be in these days. Brimming with youngsters, one can see several banner-laden cars blocking the roads, increased police presence and umpteen number of pamphlets strewn all around the campus in North Delhi.
The University – one of the largest in the country – has been gearing up for the annual Delhi University Students' Union (DUSU) elections to be held on 12 September.
The elections for the four posts of president, vice-president, secretary and joint secretary are once again expected to be a contest between the conventional bigwigs of student politics – the Congress' National Students Union of India (NSUI) and the RSS-affiliated Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP).
For the president's post, the ABVP has propped up Rajat Choudhary, an MA political science student from Motilal Nehru College, as its candidate. He will be contesting against NSUI’s Rocky Tushir, who is pursuing an MA from the Department of Buddhist Studies.
Notably, the NSUI candidate, Rocky, got embroiled in a controversy in the run-up to elections when his nomination was cancelled by the DU election committee for coming under ‘disciplinary action’. However, the cancellation was overruled by the Delhi High Court on 8 September.
ABVP has been dominating the elections for the last few years, having won all the posts in 2014 and 2015, and winning three out of four last year.
Despite the elaborate campaigning by the parties, the interest among many students in the whole process has been tepid. The voter turnout has been consistently low in the last few years, with only 36.9 percent of the students voting in 2016.
In such a scenario, The Quint talked to several students of the University to get a sense of the issues they have been facing and would want to be rectified with the help of the students’ union. The questions raised by these students were then posed to the candidates of ABVP and NSUI.
The issues voiced by the students were diverse, ranging from the absence of a platform for debate among candidates, the acute lack of hostel seats providing accommodation to out-of-station students, to the uncleanliness on the campus as numerous election-related pamphlets litter the roads.
Here are a few of these questions:
While the promises of the candidates sound ambitious, the students are not very hopeful that a new leadership will bring about positive changes to the university.
"They have taken up the same issues over several years. But nothing has changed. They disappear once the elections are over," says Kanhaiya Yadav Kumar, reflecting the general sentiment among the students.
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