On 7th September 2019, All India Students’ Association (AISA) released its manifesto for the 2019 Delhi University Students’ Union (DUSU) elections at a press conference held in the Press Club of India. The panel consisted of Damni Kain, the Presidential candidate, Aftab, the Vice-Presidential candidate, Vikash Kumar, the Secretarial candidate, Chetna, the Joint Secretarial candidate and Kawalpreet Kaur, Delhi State President.
In their press release, they called out Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) for last year’s election fraud regarding Ankiv Baisoya and demanded an apology. Kawalpreet Kaur, Delhi State President, said in the conference, “Agar ABVP mein thoda sab hi sharam hai, thoda sa bhi moral rightness hai, ABVP should not contest elections this time and should apologize to the DU students for what they did last year.”
The manifesto also said that ABVP has constantly spread terror in their campus, where it has indulged in violence against the professors and students. “From threatening professors in the syllabus making committee to illegally setting up the statue of Savarkar in Arts Faculty, the ABVP has continuously resorted to unprecedented violence on students,” read their press release.
They raised questions regarding new colleges, improvement of infrastructure, fee hikes, anti-sexual harassment and gender sensitization committees, north-eastern societies and the overall development in the University. “In spite of having their government at the center, In spite of winning the elections with a full mandate, they haven’t worked for the students at all,” added Kawalpreet Kaur.
Under their manifesto, they promise to work for:
- More hostels, Rent Regulation Act and against the PG-Broker Mafia.
- Students Metro Concessional Passes, more DTC buses, and university special buses.
- Gender sensitization cells, active anti-sexual harassment committees, and equal opportunity cells.
- Better infrastructure, standardized canteen rates, improved laboratories and reduction in fees.
- Campus democracy, academic freedom, and pro-students initiative.
They also talked about their achievement of affordable transportation which made the DTC Bus Pass valid in AC buses and led to the Delhi government announcing of 1,000 More DTC buses in Delhi. Vikas Kumar, the Secretary Candidate, said in their press release,“ AISA has fought long and guaranteed AC bus passes even when we were not in the union, if elected we will guarantee metro Concessional passes for all students.”
AISA also asked the students to:
- Vote against ABVP’s serial violence on campuses
- Vote for alternative politics in DUSU
- Vote for academic freedom
- Vote for quality and affordable higher education
- Vote for a gender-just DU campus
Damini Kain, the DUSU presidential candidate, said, “Rather than fighting with us and for us, DUSU members have fought against us. It is only the movement led by us, the common students and professors which has saved DU in these difficult times. Students have to vote to save the idea of the university which is known for its debate and discussion if the avenue for it will be closed then only fear will loom on campus. Violence free campus is an important part of our manifesto.”
Feature Image Credits: DU Beat Archives