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DU votes: 7 in 10 stay away

After controversies through the past week over the disqualification of key candidates from the big guns,NSUI and ABVP...

Written by Deepu Sebastian Edmond | New Delhi |
September 5, 2009 12:28:43 am

After controversies through the past week over the disqualification of key candidates from the big guns,NSUI and ABVP,less than four out of every 10 students enrolled in Delhi University came out to vote for their new students’ union on Friday.

According to the university’s chief election officer Gurmeet Singh,polling was recorded at 35 per cent in the 51 colleges affiliated to the Delhi University Students’ Union (DUSU). Counting begins at 8 am on Saturday,Singh said.

With three out of four candidates in the top panel from both ABVP and NSUI barred for violating campaign norms,students at many institutions said they had come to vote for their respective college union elections. “There is a huge communication gap between the college union and DUSU,so legitimate demands of colleges are not represented by DUSU at times,” Law Faculty student David said.

At Satyawati College (Morning),only a handful of students came out to vote as all candidates for the college union were disqualified for going against the Lyngdoh Committee recommendations during canvassing. Official figures are still awaited.

Though disqualified from contesting,former NSUI candidates Deepak Negi and Umesh Tanwar,and ABVP’s Rohit Chahal,came to cast their votes and travelled with the respective candidates to different colleges.

Negi and Chahal said they had voted for all four posts but Tanwar said he cast his vote for only one candidate.

Zafar Khan,an LLB student at the Campus Law Centre,perhaps hit the nail on the head: “There is no colour this time. There are no rallies,no enthusiastic campaigning — this does not look like a DUSU election. There are no known faces,so we decided not to vote.”

His classmate Arif Khan,still waiting to cast his vote when Newsline met him,said: “We had come to the library but found it closed. So we thought we might as well vote. But I have not decided whom to vote for yet — we are waiting for our friends.”

More poll code violations?
The story of disqualification of candidates may continue even after elections to DUSU got over on Friday. There is a possibility that some posts may remain vacant in the next panel.

The university’s chief election officer,Gurmeet Singh,today said there would be no fresh elections if any of the six candidates issued notice on Wednesday is disqualified after winning the polls.

Found violating the election,the six were given a day’s time to reply to the showcause notice. Singh let them contest the elections after hearing their explanation on Thursday,but with a rider: the inquiry would continue.

Three of these candidates are in the fray for president,and one each vying for the posts of vice-president,secretary and joint secretary.

“We will neither hold fresh elections nor promote the second-placed candidate in case the winner stands disqualified,” Singh explained. If any winner is subsequently disqualified,he added,the post will remain vacant for a year.

The six asked to show cause on Wednesday are INSO’s Chetan Arya,AISF’s Bajinder Singh,and Independent candidate Manoj Choudhary (all contesting for president),ABVP’s Kriti Wadhera (vice-president),NSUI’s Arshdeep Kaur (secretary),and INSO’s Asha Kiran (joint secretary).

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