Voting percentage in the Delhi University Students’ Union (DUSU) polls saw a considerable dip — of 4 percentage points — this year. The overall voter turnout was recorded at 39.9%. The 43 morning colleges and departments which had concluded voting by 1 pm registered a voting percentage just below 40%, at 39.89%, which is over 3 percentage points less than last year’s 43.8%.
Polling at nine centres — where voting went on till 7.30 pm — did little to pull up the voter turnout and lifted the percentage by a whisker to 39.9%. Over 1.3 lakh students were eligible to vote in this year’s polls.
Last year, the students’ elections had seen the highest voting percentage in 11 years. This year’s lower percentage turnout dipped below 2017’s 42.5%. Barring 2016 polls, where the turnout was 36.9%, this year’s voter turnout has been the lowest since 2012.
In this year’s DUSU polls, the three major organisations contending for the positions of president, vice-president, secretary and joint secretary are RSS-affiliated ABVP, Congress-backed NSUI and Left-affiliated AISA. Last year, the ABVP had won all posts barring that of secretary, which was bagged by NSUI.
Colleges also voted for their individual college unions and even as the counting was underway, the ABVP stated that it had won at least one post out of 35 posts. “We have swept the entire panel in Bhaskaracharya College, Ramanujan College, Rajdhani College and Shri Ram College of Commerce. We are finding out the numbers by and by,” claimed ABVP media in-charge Ashutosh Singh.
Meanwhile, NSUI claimed that it was leading the union and was in the majority in 22 colleges.
The day’s voting also saw a couple of hiccups along the way. The NSUI complained about police presence after their joint secretary candidate Abhishek Chaprana was detained by police from Dyal Singh College.
According to police, Chaprana was canvassing for votes in the college. Police said he also “misbehaved” when they tried to intervene. Chaprana was detained and released later after questioning, said police.
The NSUI also complained about EVM malfunctioning at Aryabhatta College. “Again, in Aryabhatta College, EVM is malfunctioning against NSUI. When ballot is pressed for NSUI candidate, EVM does not light up to indicate the registration of vote… We say no to elections being hijacked by thugs and frauds,” said NSUI national in-charge Ruchi Gupta.
The university’s election office denied it to be a case of EVM malfunctioning, but replaced the machine nonetheless.
“Votes were being registered and the machine was making the sound when a vote was cast. Because the issue was raised, the machine was replaced. Until then, 152 votes had been registered on it,” said Chief Election Officer Ashok Prasad.
The counting of votes will be conducted and results declared Friday.