This year’s voter turnout for the Delhi University Students’ Union (DUSU) polls saw a considerable dip. The voting process in a few centres and colleges saw hiccups pertaining to a clash between the students and the Electric Voting Machines (EVMs).
The past month in the University of Delhi (DU) campuses and colleges saw a flurry of activities characterised by loud sloganeering, flashy SUVs and a lot of campaigning for the recently concluded DUSU polls.
The voting percentage in this year’s polls saw a considerable dip of four percentage points, this year. The overall voter turnout was recorded at 39.9%. The 43 morning colleges and departments which had conducted polling for independent posts as well, registered a voting percentage just below 40%, at 39.89%, which is over three percentage points less than last year’s 43.8%.
This year’s percentage turnout dipped below 2012’s 42.5% and came close to 2016’s lowest percentage of 36.9%.
Polling at nine centres, where voting went on till 7:30 p.m., as well as in the 43 colleges where voting concluded at 1:00 p.m., saw a footfall of close to 52,000 voters in all. Over 1.3 lakh students were eligible to vote in this year’s polls. This excludes the number of eligible voters in colleges of the varsity that are not associated with the DUSU such as Lady Shri Ram College, St. Stephen’s College, Daulat Ram College, etc.
Colleges also voted for their particular college union posts and even as the counting was underway, the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) stated that it had won at least one post out of all, in each of the 35 colleges. “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 the ABVP’s media in-charge Ashutosh Singh, in conversation with the Indian Express. Meanwhile, the National Students’ Union of India (NSUI) claimed that it was leading the Union and was in the majority in 22 colleges. The ABVP has emerged victorious in the polls this year, yet again, with three of the main panel posts (those of President, Vice-President, and Joint Secretary) being bagged by them. Only one seat of the panel, that of the Secretary has gone to the candidate from the NSUI.
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. He was later released after being questioned briefly, The NSUI also complained about EVM malfunctioning at Aryabhatta College. “…in Aryabhatta College, the EVM is malfunctioning against NSUI. When the ballot is pressed for NSUI candidate, the EVM does not light up to indicate the registration of vote… We say no to elections being hijacked by thugs and frauds,” said NSUI’s national in-charge Ruchi Gupta.
The University’s election office denied it to be a case of EVM malfunction, but replaced the machine nonetheless.
Feature Image Credits: Namrata Randhawa for DU Beat