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RSS’ student outfit ABVP continued its dominance in the DUSU polls, bagging three seats and describing the thumping victory as the “triumph of nationalism”, while Congress’ NSUI made a comeback, winning the post of Joint Secretary in the results announced on Friday.
ABVP’s Amit Tanwar was elected the new president of Delhi University Students’ Union (DUSU), defeating NSUI candidate Nikhil Yadav by a margin of 4,680 votes.
Priyanka and Ankit Singh of ABVP have been elected as vice president and secretary respectively.
NSUI candidate Mohit Garid won the contest for the Joint Secretary’s post, preventing an ABVP hat-trick. The RSS’ student body had bagged all the four seats in the DUSU polls last year as well as in 2014.
AAP’s Chhatra Yuva Sangharsh Samiti, which was defeated last year on its debut, did not contest the election this year.
“A significant number of 17,712 voters opted for NOTA, introduced in the DUSU polls this year,” said Chief Election Commissioner for the polls DS Rawat.
Union minister Arun Jaitley, who was elected DUSU president in 1974, congratulated ABVP on its victory.
“Congratulations to DU students & #ABVP on comprehensively winning President, VP & Secretary posts in #DUSUPolls All the best to ABVP team,” he tweeted.
BJP national president Amit Shah too congratulated the ABVP candidates, describing the victory as “the triumph of nationalism”.
“Congrats to ABVP. #DUSU verdict is triumph of Nationalism. Youth have reposed their faith in constructive politics,” he tweeted.
The election, held on Friday, saw a turnout of over 36.9 per cent, recording a dip of 7 per cent from last year’s turnout of 43.3 per cent. A total of 1,23,246 students were eligible to exercise their franchise.
Celebrations broke out with bursting of crackers and loud cheering at the Kingsway camp counting venue as the results were announced. ABVP supporters lifted the victorious candidates on their shoulders and posed for photos flashing the ‘victory’ sign.
The winners were garlanded and processions were taken out by ABVP supporters who paid tributes at Swami Vivekananda’s statue at the Arts Faculty of the university.
DUSU is the representative body of students from most of the colleges and faculties of the university. The polls have been keenly contested over decades and are seen as a stepping stone to mainstream politics.
Jaitley, Congress leader Ajay Maken, Delhi BJP chief Satish Upadhyay, Union minister and BJP leader Vijay Goel are some of the prominent politicians whose journey into mainstream politics began from DUSU.
Priyanka, the lone female face in this year’s elected panel, bagged 15,592 votes and defeated her closest rival by a margin of 2,455 votes.
Ankit Singh Sangwan, who won the secretary’s post secured 15,518 votes. He won by a margin of 1,383 votes.
NSUI’s Mohit Garid garnered the maximum number of 16,526 votes and won the seat by a margin of 2,466 votes.
“NSUI’s drought in DUSU has ended with Garid winning the joint secretary’s post. The vote share of the party has increased in all the seats and we are confident of sweeping the panel in the next polls,” NSUI national president Amrita Dhawan said.
A total of 17 candidates were in the fray for the four posts of DUSU office-bearers.
While seven aspirants were vying for the post of president, four nominations were validated for the vice-president’s post and three candidates each were in the fray for the post of joint secretary and secretary.
While the political battle at DU has been between NSUI and ABVP over the decades, Left-affiliated All India Students’ Association (AISA) this time tried hard to make it to the central panel with a series of campaigns but failed to open its account.
Meanwhile, JNU elections have seen a complete turn around for ABVP, as initial results came out. Initial trends in the results of student union elections in Jawaharlal Nehru University indicated a strong surge for the Left Unity panel in three out of four posts. The candidates for ABVP and BAPSA were trailing after a total of 900 votes were counted.
This year, in JNU, the SFI and AISA have come together on a platform of Left Unity to counter the ABVP and two-year-old Birsa Ambedkar Phule Students’ Association (BAPSA).