Elections 2017


The student wing of the Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist) Liberation, a prominent leftist party on the campus of Delhi University and a staunch opponent of the party politics of DUSU’s ruling party’s muscle-power and money, All India Students’ Association (AISA) recently released a press release prior to upcoming DUSU elections.
The press release acts as an announcement by its candidates their unambiguous stand on ABVP’s alleged violence during the Ramjas College protests earlier this year in the month of February. 

The Ramjas College protests transpired on a fateful Wednesday afternoon when ABVP members arrived within the college premises to disrupt a literary event which invited speakers like Umar Khaled and Shehla Rashid.
Parties like AISA and SFI (The Students’ Federation of India) were in the forefront protesting against ABVP’s alleged hooliganism-turned-violent activities.

Since then, AISA has been campaigning for a freer and safer, non-violent campus which provides a space for uninterrupted discourse of ideas, however controversial it be.

The party claims, if in power it will address issues of
-Affordable accommodation
-Affordable transportation
-Violence free campus

Parul Chauhan, a third year student from Satyawati College (Evening) contesting for the post of president said that “This DUSU election is being fought in the backdrop of Ramjas Incident in which the goons of ABVP assaulted both students and teachers. Instead of working for the benefit of students the ABVP has only perpetuated violence in the campus. They have repeatedly failed in their promises of building hostel and in fact have ended up promoting PG’s.

If AISA is elected to union, we will ensure that the DUSU election post 2017 will be free from all malpractices and even common students like me will have a fair chance of contesting DUSU elections against the money muscle power of ABVP”.

Akash Gupta a student of Law Faculty and former student of Deshbandhu College contesting for the post of Joint Secretary said that “the biggest issue Delhi University is facing right now is that of campus violence which is single handedly perpetuated by ABVP across Delhi University. He recounted how ABVP tried to disrupt seminar on Ambedkar in Deshbandhu college, beat up activists in Shaheed Bhagat Singh and PGDAV college. He also said that the incidences of Violence by ABVP is not only limited to North Campus, but also in almost all colleges of Delhi University, because of which common students live in perpetual terror of ABVP goons.  

“We have seen how for the last 40 years the DUSU has been made a launch pad for the ABVP/NSUI goons who invest huge sum of money just to win DUSU elections and launch their political career. Our objective is to reclaim the DUSU from the hands of castiest, feudal, communalist ABVP and give it back to the common students. We aim to make DUSU a platform of struggle instead of a platform for enjoyment where last DUSU office bearers ate tea and snacks of 21 lakhs ” said Kawalpreet Kaur President of DU AISA.

Ankita Dhar Karmakar

[email protected]

On the morning of 9th September, 2016, when the poster ridden walls and broken vodka bottles in Delhi University campus was speaking aloud the Triumph and Failure of the respective student political parties in DUSU’16 Elections, 77 DU Students came out of their rooms, leaving their beds to clean the campus and openly herald their aggression against the corruption, violation of DUSU elections rules, Lyngdoh Committee Recommendations 2012, National Green Tribunal Notice and also the deterioration and exploitation that happens on campus every year in the name of the so-called huge DUSU Elections. It started off as a Facebook group which later garnered support from the National Service Scheme (NSS) of Miranda House, University of Delhi.

That was the opportune moment when the “No Poster Party” as an endeavour, took shape, was created by four students of Miranda House, University of Delhi: Marya Hassan, Swastika Kharbanada, Simran Kapoor and Nancy Sharma. During the 2016 elections, NPP could carry out its cleanliness drive only a day after the election results were declared, starting from Visvavidyalaya Metro Station till Arts Faculty and the peripheral regions of the college.

The months of August and September take a miserable toll on the streets around campuses of the University of Delhi with paper posters littered on every stone and gravel. It becomes a shameful carpet of wastage. NPP’s intentions are to put a stop to this ridiculous manifestation of gross wastage in the name of election campaigning, by ridding the walls of any such posters. Instead, it aims to paint murals and other beautiful paintings reflecting the culture of the University of Delhi, on these walls. But it hasn’t been able to procure official permission from the Proctor and the Registrar of the University of Delhi. Simran Kapoor,a member of the group says, “the irony of how known right-wing political parties choose to vandalise campus walls without permission under the stealthy garb of midnight to evade persecution while none of the authorities bat an eyelash, and how it has proved to be difficult to gain permission for something which only serves the steps of democracy and the protest culture”. “We are not against any political party, we just want our campus to be clean”, remarked Nancy Sharma.
Election season usually witnesses political parties flouting ethics and bribing the students around the campus with lipsticks, pizzas, free movie tickets, cigarettes and a whole lot of other material objects. These practices blatantly violate the Lyngdoh Committee Recommendations 2012 for elections amongst the students in Universities in India and also due to the incessant paper wastage that happens due to campaigning via posters resulting in environmental degradation. NGT’s notice stands to no importance in front of the hooliganism of the political parties. Despite the petition filed by Law Student Nitin Chandran in 2017, there was no improvement in the state of DUSU Elections.

The team then mushroomed with innumerable volunteers and members who share the same cause. The name of the party might sound misleading since essentially NPP doesn’t pledge allegiance to any sort of political leaning. What they believe in is a paperless election campaign and a non-violation of the rules and regulations enshrined within the Lyngdoh Committee Recommendations 2012.

Hassan says, “What’s the point of education if your mess has to be cleaned by an uneducated worker? As a sensible DU student, it’s high time to tell the so called students’ representatives that we want them to be creative and not waste paper in campaigns. We want a fair election.”

NPP’s dedication to the cause of paperless election campaigning is steadfast. So far, in the current months of DUSU election campaigning, it has scraped walls of posters weighing around 20 to 25 kgs. A self-funded party, with financial constraints, it even took to removing the posters with the help of compasses and rulers.

NPP’s clear and staunch efforts are to urge the political parties contesting DUSU elections to turn to alternatives of posters, for campaigning. They could switch to carrying out rallies and engage in social media marketing or using least amount of paper and ensuring it’s recycled after its use. As a result, political parties such as ABVP, switched to using orange flags instead of posters in certain areas.
“Political parties can use other creative methods, to promote themselves. Rallies, conferences, college to college promotions, organising activities like marathons, etc. can be done as a replacement of promotions through thousands of posters”, commented Swastika Kharbanda, one of the founding members of the party.

The party plans to create a Human Chain around campus on the 22nd of August, to rally people in for their cause and raising awareness.


Image Credits: No Poster Party Facebook Page

Ankita Dhar Karmakar
[email protected]

On 11th March, the results of the state assemblies in Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Goa, Uttarakhand and Manipur were declared. The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) will be forming a government in 4 out 5 states, as they celebrated a massive ride to victory in Uttar Pradesh, Goa, Manipur and Uttarakhand.

The BJP rode a Modi super-wave to a massive victory in Uttar Pradesh, winning 312 of the state’s 403 seats, whereas its allies have won 13 seats for a grand total of 325. The Samajwadi Party and Indian National Congress’ great loss was a shock to the whole nation as the Samajwadi Party, under the leadership of Akhilesh Yadav maintained a strong foothold over the masses in UP. Most people have remarked that the UP elections is an indication towards the death of electoral politics in the state, however it may also be seen as a resurgence wherein the electorate has finally moved away from casteist party politics.

In Manipur, amid the BJP claiming support of 32 MLAs in the 60-member Manipur Assembly, outgoing Deputy Chief Minister Gaikhangam on Sunday said: the Congress, being the single largest party, must be allowed first to form the government. Flanked by NPP and LJP leaders and their winning candidates, BJP general secretary Ram Madhav told a press conference in Imphal, “We have been able to come to an understanding with the NPP and the Lok Janshakti Party in our bid to form the government in Manipur.”

The Congress has its big win in Punjab, as they won 77 of 117 seats. This win is a breath of fresh air for Congress which has been coping with a drop in their credibility, as they have performed rather poorly in other state elections.

The Goa election results that were declared threw up a hung assembly in the state with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) winning 13 seats and the Congress 17 in the 40-member assembly. The BJP however pulled off a coup by enlisting the support of the Goa Forward Party (GFP), Maharastrawadi Gomantak Party (MGP) and two Independents, to reach the figure of 21 in the 40-member house. A government led by Manohar Parrikar, former Defense Minister, is now leading Goa.

Featured image Credits: NDTV

Joyee Bhattacharya

([email protected])