DUSU Elections 2017


Odd semesters usually start with a burst of energy, (which is visible in the first week only) and give hope to many as a means to seek redemption for the erroneous mistakes committed in the past year. The fest scene is definitely lackluster in the Delhi circuit when compared to the even semester; there are, nevertheless, many moments to compensate for that. We take you through a recap of the semester gone by and dive head-first into the highlights that make the odd semesters so endearing and special.

1. The Admissions Hullabaloo: Clueless freshers and even more clueless professors regarding the syllabus, the first month is a spectacle to cherish — seniors reminisce their college life, and juniors eagerly look forward to interviews and freshers’ parties and competitions. This phase lasts roughly until the end of August and is followed by the reality of elections dawning upon us.

2. The Elections Turmoil: After many days of throwing pamphlets in the air and shouting out manifestos, the entire process of campaigning boils down to one day, the day of elections. Many controversies marked this election season eventful — from AISA’s panel yelling ‘Go back ABVP’ in Miranda House to Rocky Tuseed being barred (the ban was later removed),  from contesting for elections, two days before the election day. This year, elections were conducted on the 11th of September and saw an increase in the voter turnout. Rocky Tuseed and Kunal Sehrawat from NSUI won the positions of DUSU President and Vice President respectively, while Mahamedhaa Nagar and Uma Shankar from ABVP won the positions of DUSU Secretary and Joint Secretary, respectively.

3. Outstation fests, Part 1: Antaragini, IIT Kanpur, cultural extravaganza was a 4-day affair from 26th to 29th October, that had a cumulation of the best talents across India. The audience grooved to the tunes of famous artists like Euphoria, the famous duo Vishal-Shekhar, and KSHMR along with other DJs.

4. Outstation fests, Part 2: Oasis, BITS Pilani was a 4-day fest from 30th October to 4th November that witnessed thousands of students from all colleges all across India competing for the top prizes in various performing competitions. Renowned filmmaker and director of Baahubali fame, S.S Rajamouli declared the fest open. The famous duo Vishal-Shekhar sang their all time famous tracks on the 2nd night, while Candice Redding and, other international DJs performed on the EDM night for day 3. Ashish Shakya and Karunesh Talwar successfully called the fest to an end and threw everyone in fits of laughter in the process.

As ridiculously long this semester seemed to be, it officially ended on the 15th November. Here’s hoping for an even more eventful next semester, with fulfilled promises and newer heights to accomplish.

Image Credits: DUB Archives

P.V Purnima

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Vijeata Balani

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The Delhi High Court on Monday directed various authorities — including the Delhi Police, DMRC, MCDs, DU vice-chancellor, Union Home ministry, winning candidates of DUSU polls, the dean of students’ welfare, and the petitioner in the case of preventing defacement of public property during Delhi University Student Union election campaigning – to convene a meeting in order to devise a plan of action.

The court has also asked the winning candidates to place an action plan on how they proposed to clean the area and how future elections would be conducted. A bench of acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice C Hari Shankar issued the order while hearing the plea filed by advocate Prashant Manchanda, as reported by The Indian Express.

On Monday, the elected student representatives — including DUSU president Rocky Tuseed and vice-president Kunal Sehrawat — were in court. Stating that many of the defaced properties bore his name, the bench sought an explanation from Rocky. Counsel for Rocky told the court that they had carried out cleanliness drives in the North and South campuses — with the help of students and NGOs — to remove the graffiti and spray paint, irrespective of which candidate or political party had carried out the defacement.

The plea highlighted defacement of public property in Delhi University, properties within the jurisdiction of the MCDs and the Delhi Metro. It added that it was next to impossible to completely remove the defacement. The bench then directed the authorities to file a report of the meeting — to be held on 27th October at 3 pm at the dean’s office — on the next date of hearing on 28th November.

The bench has further said that defacement of public property was a cognizable offence, punishable with 10 years in jail. Rocky and the other candidates assured the bench that they would not do so in future.


Feature Image Credits: Hindustan Times

Ankita Dhar Karmakar
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The University of Delhi has rejected Congress-backed National Students’ Union of India (NSUI) plea for recounting of votes in the recently concluded Delhi University Students’ Union (DUSU) elections. Even though a recount of votes will not take place, the grievance redressal committee has permitted Meenakshi Meena and Avinash Yadav, NSUI candidates for Secretary and Joint Secretary respectively to view EVM-wise data.


NSUI claimed it won three not two posts in the DUSU panel post elections and alleged that the results were tampered due to intervention by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP President Amit Shah. NSUI’s National Media In-Charge told Scroll.in., “The CCTVs were not working properly, and many officials from the ABVP and the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh were present in the counting centre.” NSUI asked the Election Commissioner to recount the votes and also submitted an official complaint to the grievance redressal committee. It had also threatened to move to the Delhi High Court soon.


Avinash Yadav, NSUI’s candidate for Joint Secretary of DUSU lost to RSS affiliated Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Paridhad’s (ABVP) candidate by 342 votes. NSUI’s candidates for the positions of President and Vice-President, Rocky Tuseed and Kunal Sehrawat bagged the seats by 1590 and 175 votes respectively.


Image Credits: Hindustan Times


Vijeata Balani

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After weeks of campaigning, the Delhi University Students’ Union Elections 2017 were held on Tuesday, 12th September in colleges across the University of Delhi. At the end of the day, the voter turnout was said to be 42.8%, which was a huge improvement from last year’s turnout of 34.3%. The results for the same were announced on the afternoon of 13th September.

Rocky Tusheed and Kunal Sehrawat from the National Students’ Union of India (NSUI), affiliated to the Indian National Congress, won the posts of President and Vice President respectively. This was an enormous leap for NSUI, as they emerged victorious over Rajat Choudhary and Paarth Rana from Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP), affiliated to the Rashtriya Sawayamsevak Sangh (RSS). ABVP has maintained monopoly over these 2 posts for the past 4 years in DUSU. The post of Secretary and Joint Secretary has been won by Mahamedha Nagar and Uma Shankar from ABVP.

However, in a recent turn of events, the counting of votes for the post of Joint Secretary is being taken to the Delhi High Court by NSUI. Neeraj Mishra, the National Communications In charge of NSUI, said, “The average NOTA vote count for the post of Joint Secretary had been declared as 5000, however ABVP claims the NOTA vote count to be 9000. Due to the discrepancies in these numbers, the matter of the final vote count will be moved to the High Court by NSUI”. The final tally of votes were, President: NSUI (16299), ABVP (14709). Vice-president: NSUI (16431), ABVP (16256). Secretary: ABVP (17156), NSUI (14532). The post of Joint Secretary has been won by Uma Shankar from ABVP as of now, however the final decision will be declared by the Delhi High Court.


Feature Image Credits: DNA India

Joyee Bhattacharya

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With the onset of the election season in the University, there are students who distance and disassociate themselves from the whole process because the politics of DUSU are too “dirty” for them. How problematic is this? Why do we forget about the students who cannot afford to be indifferent to the “dirty” politics?

Often, when the election season prevails in the University of Delhi, social media are flooded with posts and pictures of how campaigning by the parties cause inconvenience for students. The posts are usually captioned with something along the lines of: ‘This is why I hate the election season’ or ‘This is why I chose to be apolitical.’ A lot of students in the University decide to be indifferent to the politics because they think it is “dirty” and “tiresome” and that the political parties are the reason for a lot of ruckus within the University. These students chose to distance themselves from everything and anything related to the elections by not exercising their right to vote, amongst other things. This is problematic for a lot of reasons. The first and foremost being that being apolitical in a democratic location is equal to being indifferent to a flood in your city because you live in house on stills.

The voter turnout for the DUSU elections of 2016 was merely 35.3%, and it is evident that the rest made a conscious decision to stay neutral. Desmond Tutu very aptly said, “If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor.” Students decide to remain apolitical even after injustice and oppression has prevailed in the campus for years; they don’t turn up to vote because they feel both sides – the left and the right – are iniquitous. But these students often forget that they hold the power to choose NOTA (none of the above) in the election polls. NOTA is quite a convenient way to tell the student parties that they aren’t the right ones for the job, even with their money, muscle and political backing.

As students, the right to vote is the power that we hold to choose who works for us. Often, amongst our privileged background, settled family and a stable financial income, we forget what it is like for the other people of the equation. There are colleges within Delhi University where metros, or even local buses, aren’t available, where there aren’t any hostels and where many basic facilities aren’t accessible. There are a lot of concerns within the University that concern the colleges outside North Campus that we aren’t even aware about. So, with every student who declares him/herself as “apolitical”, there is also a student who has to wait for hours just to get on a bus to a college that is on the outskirts of the city.

Granted, the election season does cause a lot of inconvenience for everyone; the protest marches cause traffic, the entire campus is covered in pamphlets and party posters, and classes are interrupted on a daily basis because of the campaigning. But that shouldn’t be a cause to hate the entire political procedure. If you don’t support paper wastage, then vote for a party that has a paperless campaign; if you think the ruling party did not make any progress in the last tenure, then vote for the opposition; if you think none of the parties deserve to win, the cast your vote as NOTA. The point is: go out and vote. It might sound like a cliché but every vote counts, and help make a huge difference. Your privilege may allow you to become indifferent to which party wins, but privilege can cause you to become silent in the times of need. And silence is just another word for a death sentence.
Anagha Rakta
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Are there certain patterns that DUSU elections follow? How much of a role does ones caste, gender and socio-economic background play? With election season round the corner, we try to answer these questions.

Winning the students’ union elections in the University of Delhi is an immense feat. Major national political student parties like Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP), National Students Union of India (NSUI), and All India Students Association (AISA) amongst others are the key players in the Delhi University Student’s Union (DUSU) elections.  Along with muscle-power and extensive campaigning, a lot of strategy goes into the DUSU elections. Are people from a community, gender, or political party more likely to win this election? We try to answer these questions through an analysis of past election data.

1) The rise of ABVP -The last time NSUI won all four DUSU posts was in 2007, some ten years ago. In the last ten years, ABVP has won the DUSU elections seven times (the criterion being winning three or more seats). Out of these seven times, in 2009 the ABVP won one seat. Howsoever the President (independent) and Joint Secretary (Samajwadi Chattra Sabha) publicly credited ABVP for their victory. Only twice was NSUI able to win majority seats in the panel. In 2012, both ABVP and NSUI won two seats each. In the last ten years, Delhi University has seen six ABVP, one independent (credits ABVP) and three NSUI Presidents. This shift in voting patterns is unconventional since DUSU had a NSUI stronghold for a long time.  From 1996 to 2008, NSUI maintained its position as the key player in DUSU politics, winning the majority of seats.

Source: @nupursharmabjp on  Twitter
Nupur Sharma was the DUSU President in 2008. She won the Presidential seat for ABVP ending a long NSUI stronghold, surprising many. There has been no female DUSU President after her. Source: @nupursharmabjp on Twitter

2) Fall in the participation of women – Between 2011 and 2017, out of the twenty-four candidates that became a part of the DUSU panel, only five were women. The role of women in the last six years has been limited to the positions of General Secretary and Joint Secretary, with ABVP’s Priyanka Chhawri (Vice President) being the only exception. It would be strange perhaps to find out that women were not always relegated to the role of a token in DUSU politics. In fact between 2001 and 2010 women won twelve seats in DUSU overall with five of them being President and two being Vice President. Where there should have been an improvement in the position of women, there has been a decline. This fall in the number of female candidates winning and the lack of female DUSU Presidents is strange. In fact, while the awareness about gender-equality and feminism is greater than ever. While DUSU President of 2008, Nupur Sharma, believes this is because posters with faces were no more allowed; Ragini Nayak, DUSU President of 2005, believed it is so because the number of days of campaigning has been shortened to four or five days, and this kind of aggressive campaigning is easier for men to accomplish. (Source: Hindustan Times)

L-R:  Priyanka Chhawri, Ankit Singh and Amit Tanvar after winning the 2016 DUSU elections. All four post holders in the 2016-17 DUSU union are from either the Jat or Gurjar community.
L-R: Priyanka Chhawri, Ankit Singh and Amit Tanvar after winning the 2016 DUSU elections. All four post holders in the 2016-17 DUSU union are from either the Jat or Gurjar community. Source: The Indian Express

3) The dominance of the Jat and Gurjar community – From 2011 to 2017, every DUSU President has been from either the Jat or the Gurjar community. The last four DUSU Presidents belonged to the Gujjar community while the two before them from the Gurjar community. In fact not just Presidents, but often the entire panel hails from these two communities. For instance, in 2016-17 all four post holders hailed from the Jat or Gurjar community. This dominance of certain communities in DUSU is recent but it clearly shows how major student parties are not shy of fielding candidates hailing from influential communities who have immense social capital at their disposal, in order to win.  

4) Emerging alternatives to ABVP and NSUI – Parties like AISA and the Students’ Federation of India (SFI) have continuously been gaining relevance in DUSU politics. In the 2016 elections, on almost all posts, AISA candidates managed to secure the third highest vote share, thus securing its position as the third party in the DUSU political scene. It managed to secure a total of 30,000 seats. It also managed to secure an increase in its vote share for each post.


Feature Image Credits: The Indian Express

Kinjal Pandey

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With the election fever catching up in the University, ABVP has also upped its efforts to reach out to students in the campus. In the recent developments, Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad(ABVP) has submitted a memorandum to the Election Officials for the session 2017-18 to ensure a better election process. It has also formed a committee to select its candidates for the DUSU Elections 2017.

Submits memorandum to Election Officials for better Election Process

On August 26, 2017, a four member delegation of ABVP met the recently appointed DUSU-2017 Election Committee to raise some points of demands and give their suggestions for the smooth functioning of this year’s Delhi University’s Students’ Union (DUSU) polls.

Among various issues that the party highlighted, it requested for avoiding the ambiguity in the counting process of votes through proper numbered EVMs allotted to every college. They also asked the authorities to run an awareness campaign in order to increase the voting percentage and even asked for attendance benefit for the students who come to the college to vote on the election day.

They also took the issue of paper wastage with the authorities and demanded designated ‘Wall of Democracy’ in every college in order to reduce paper wastage.

Forms Committee to select official candidates 

The party has constituted Committee to select the official candidates of ABVP for the polls. The committee comprises of Dr Avnish Mittal-State President of ABVP, Dr Manu Kataria-National Executive Council member,  Monika Chaudhary-National Secretary, Bharat Khatana-State Secretary, Ajay Thakur-State Organizing Secretary, Abhishek Verma-State Joint Secretary and Amit Tanwar-the outgoing DUSU President.

The committee will select the candidates for the DUSU elections which is going to be held on September 12, said a press release which was issued Saket Bahuguna, the national media convener of ABVP.



Image Credits: ABVP


Oorja Tapan

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The Student’s Federation of India(SFI) organised an event in the Art’s Faculty, North Campus on 23rd August that comprised of a protest march from the Art’s faculty towards Ramjas College, Kirori Mal College and back. This march was joined by many SFI members as well as a number of the general university student populace who wanted to voice their grievances.

The Student’s Federation of India is a student wing of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) working towards making the University space a comfortable for the quotidian student. The march was driven by a general discourse of the various demands of the students. Some of the points raised during the meet were:

  • Scarcity of hostels accommodations and lowering of the fee structure
  • Installations of sanitary napkin vending machines in the various colleges
  • Provision of University buses
  • Abolition of gender discriminatory rules in the university space
  • Ensure hygienic environment in the university
  • Stop vandalization of University walls by electoral parties

An SFI member spoke to us saying Government education par zyada paisa khurch karna nahi chaate. Desh bhar ki chatraye bade sapne lekar DU aate hain lekin yaha unhe ek 6×6 size ki overpriced room main rehkar padai karna pardta hain kyunki college hostel provide nahi kar sakti. Humari maang yeh hain ki education funds ko badaya jaye.” (The Government does not wish to spend much on education. Students from all over India come to DU with dreams but on getting ere they are made to live in a 6×6 overpriced room because the college cannot provide hostel accommodations. We demand that the education funds be increased.) Slogans like “Saste hostel lekar rahenge” also resonated throughout the stretch of the march.

The gathering was addressed by the Venezuelan Counsellor, Juan V. Freer who talked about the education model and the politics of a socialist country. The organisation will soon release its manifesto for the upcoming elections which is one crafted and submitted by students across 20 colleges in the University of Delhi.


Feature Image Credits: DU Beat

Trishala Dutta

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