DUSU polls: use of money in campaigning irks students

Saturday, Sep 10, 2016,14:26 IST By Metrovaartha A A A

New Delhi | Littering of roads with pamphlets and campaigners hurtling in expensive open-roof cars on the campus to woo voters in the Delhi University Student Union polls have left many of the varsity students annoyed.

While DUSU polls have over the years been a platform to flaunt money and muscle power, there seems to be not many takers for the freebies on offer this time around.

A committee headed by former Chief Election Commissioner J M Lyngdoh had in 2005 recommended a cap of Rs 5,000 on election expenses per candidate, besides formulating other rules and regulations for cleaning up campus politics.

In 2006, the Supreme Court had directed that these recommendations be implemented.
However, on ground the implementation of the Lyngdoh recommendations 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, ” says Ruchi, a second year MA student of DU.

“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, ” says Vikas, a first year student from Kirorimal college.

Nikita, a Ramjas student said, “The students distributing pamphlets throw them all over the roads. There are even food packets, paper and plastic glasses littering the campus”.

Student wings of various political parties, however, said they did not indulge 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,” an ABVP office bearer claimed.

“We resort to handmade posters only and try to keep our expenditure within the permissible budget. Whatever gatherings are organised for students they are to facilitate interactions between freshers and seniors for a healthy atmosphere in college and not to garner votes,” says Amrita Dhawan of NSUI.

Polling for DUSU, which is the representative body of the students from most colleges and faculty, was held today and the results will be announced tomorrow.

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.