In a protest, the NSUI launched an attack on the ABVP for alleged EVM tampering during the DUSU elections as well as the University administration for being complicit in this.
The National Student’s Union of India (NSUI) launched a protest in Arts Faculty in front of the Dean’s office against the recently announced election results, claiming that there was EVM tampering and fraud in the counting done by the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) in collaboration with the University administration. The protest happened for a brief period of time while the NSUI volunteers shouted slogans like “DU VC hai hai! (down with the DU VC!)” in front of the Dean’s office. They also proceeded to burn an effigy of the Vice-Chancellor (VC) on the road in front of the Arts Faculty.
DU Beat talked to several NSUI activists on the scene. Pragya Tomar, an NSUI activist, said that out of 126 EVM machines, only the votes of 119 EVM machines were counted. “Our candidate was ahead and then in the last round, we lost by around 700 votes. So, there is definitely a conspiracy by BJP government…Also, private EVMs were used…We have given formal complaints but there has been no reply from the University administration till now.”
Another activist on the scene said, “If the central government can be complicit in tampering, this is not democracy…we want free and fair elections and if then the ABVP wins, then we have no problem.”
Meanwhile, the NSUI Delhi’s official twitter account published a letter by Manoj Kumar, the Election Officer (EVM) who claimed that the Election Commission had issued no EVMs to University of Delhi (DU).
Once again, the BJP government suppressed democracy in Delhi University’s student elections. In the election,the Chief Election Commissioner of Delhi,used in the private company’s EVM election, has himself made a statement that the Election Commission has not given any EVM, pic.twitter.com/akYlaITgTB
— rahul daholiya (@rahul_daholiya) September 14, 2018
Leena, the NSUI 2018 candidate for the post of Vice-President, told DU Beat that the EVMs were also brought in from the back door, instead of the front door at the counting centre, which spoke of ghotala (scandal). “They (ABVP) were scared because they knew they would not secure even one seat in DU…We will go the courts looking for answers about why such betrayal has happened with the students of DU.”
DU Beat talked to Bharat Khatana, the State Secretary of ABVP Delhi who dismissed the allegations as baseless. “The counting and the election was not done by ABVP. It was done in the presence of candidates and media. Only one EVM malfunctioned of about 440 votes in Ballot no. 10 which had no candidate. Counting was halted. Then, all the parties accepted that these votes would not be counted…And then after everyone agreed, counting started again.”
When asked about the allegations of the University administration being in league with the ABVP, Mr. Khatana said, “Then the NSUI should also accept that last year they were in league with the University administration when they won two seats…these are totally false accusations.”
DU Beat also talked to Shakti Singh, the newly elected DUSU Vice-President and Jyoti Chaudhury, the newly elected Joint Secretary of DUSU, both of whom repeated Mr. Khatana’s arguments. When asked about the EVMs being issued by private companies instead of the Election Commission, Shakti Singh said, “It is the mandate of around 1.5 lakh students which should be respected. These issues should be handled by the University administration and Election Commission.”
Feature Image Credits: Aakarsh Gupta for DU Beat