In the first such verdict in over two decades, the polls for the Delhi University Students’ Union yielded a divided mandate for the National Students Union of India (NSUI) and the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP). Such a verdict — in which both student organisations won two seats each — has not been seen since the early 1990s.
For the NSUI, which bagged posts of president and vice-president, it was a comeback after a series of defeats since 2012. For the last four years, the youth wing of the Congress had either won one seat or none at all. The ABVP, which had been dominating the DUSU polls for the last few years, won the posts of secretary and joint-secretary. But the student wing of the RSS maintained it was not a vote against them, since the “losing margins were negligible”.
The joint-secretary results ran into controversy after the declaration of the verdict, with the NSUI demanding a recount, alleging that cameras in the counting station had been turned off at times. Even as NSUI volunteers shouted slogans of ‘we want justice’, the Delhi University election commission office asked them to submit a complaint with the grievance redressal committee.
“We will move court on this matter. We had asked for EVM-wise counting and re-counting, which has not been complied with. There has been a clear violation of the due process,” said NSUI in-charge Ruchi Gupta. The voting percentage this year was 43%, up from 36.9% last year.
Rocky Tuseed, who had taken the university to court for cancelling his nomination, was elected president with 16,299 votes. He beat ABVP’s Rajat Choudhary by a margin of 1,590 votes. Kunal Sehrawat was elected as vice-president, receiving 16,431 votes and beating ABVP’s Paarth Rana by a margin of 175 votes.
Delhi Congress chief Ajay Maken was quick to attribute the win to “the speech given by Rahul Gandhi in the US”. Rahul himself wished NSUI on the “stellar performance”.
It was the post of secretary which had the largest margin. ABVP’s Mahamedhaa Nagar received 17,156 votes, beating NSUI’s Minakshi Meena by 2,624 votes.
For joint secretary, ABVP’s Uma Shankar received 16,691 votes, beating Avinash Yadav by 342 votes.
“Losing the top two positions is disappointing but it is not a mandate against us as the winning margins are very less. We accept the students’ mandate and our leaders will work in coordination to fight for student rights,” said Saket Bahuguna, national media convenor of the ABVP, which held no celebrations.
The NSUI, meanwhile, held a victory march, with dhol and dancing, to the iconic Vivekananda statue at Arts Faculty.
The All India Students Association (AISA), which lagged behind in all posts, said, “We believe it was our struggle against campus violence that made ABVP lose DUSU.” The none of the above (NOTA) option received 13.6% votes, up from 10% last year.