On 8 September 2014, Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad(ABVP) released their manifesto through a press conference at the Press Club of India. The presidential candidate Mohit Nagar, a B.Com pass out from Shyam Lal College and current MA Buddhist Studies student, spoke to DU Beat on the occasion. Mohit has worked wholeheartedly for the party since his undergraduate days with special focus on the East Campus issues.
Q. When and why did you join student politics?
A. I did not join “politics”. I joined a medium through which I can work for the betterment of DU and its students. We are the only student party which not only takes up college issues but gives prior importance to issues of national concern as well.
Q. Why Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad?
A. Like I said, I did not join with the motive of politics. I joined a party with a vision, a party which is active throughout the year and not just during elections, a party which selflessly protests for student issues on 120 out of the 150 working days.
Q. Some people join any random course in order to contest DUSU elections. Can we expect you to give importance to the course you have chosen?
A. I do not compromise on studies as that will give a wrong message to students. As student leaders, it is our job to set a good example for them and ignoring our studies defeats that purpose.
Q. You have put three “a”s in front of your name in the list of candidates. AISA has been highlighting this issue in their campaigns urging students not to vote for candidates who do so which is quite appropriate.What is your opinion on it?
A. These are strategies that need to be adopted. I do not consider them unethical as long as we deliver on our promises once in power.
Q. Party or candidate – who should be the influencing factor for the vote?
A. The party should be evaluated but I feel the candidate’s performance in the party, his/her background should have more importance.
Q. There have been controversies about ABVP causing a lot of vandalism in different parts of India on various occasions. Why do you think that is so?
A. We are doing our work, controversies do not affect us. We are doing our work with determination to serve DU and even the country at large.
Q. Saket Bahuguna told us about your concern for a separate east campus. How far have you come in your endeavor?
A. I myself hail from East Delhi and am aware that 20-25 thousand students do too. Why should they need to look for a North or South campus college? I have been working in this area for quite some time now and will continue to strive for a separate east campus with conveyance facility for students and connectivity from every part of Delhi including the north and south campus. Land has already been allotted for the purpose.
We had the opportunity to converse with the Delhi Secretary of ABVP, Saket Bahuguna, who happens to be a flawless orator. He discussed the issues related to campaigning, such as dummy candidates, limited campaigning period and cleanliness problems.
Q. The papers/pamphlets thrown around haphazardly, scribbling on walls and the aggressive campaigning strategies cause immense inconvenience, huge wastage of paper and even fear of elections among students. What is your opinion on the issue?
A. We truly regret the chaos created during campaigning but we are helpless at the hands of law which provides candidates merely 3 days to reach out to each of the colleges which makes it literally next to impossible for them to make a mark among students. This, at times, invokes parties to send dummy candidates to some colleges instead of the real ones to save time, taking advantage of the fact that the contesting candidates are not permitted by law to wear their party’s logo or name during campaigning.
As for the strewn papers, it is not the candidates or their supporters but the people in whose hands the papers are given who cause the garbage by throwing them away carelessly. The campaigning duration should be increased to at least ten days in order to allow parties to strategically and calmly fulfill campaigning requirements.
Image credits: Abhinav Kumar