With the culmination of Delhi University Students’ Elections (DUSU) elections, let’s look back and answer the age-old question : Is election manifesto more important than political ideology while voting? Or is it the opposite?

On 12th September, students from all over the University of Delhi (DU) gathered in their colleges to cast their votes for the annual DUSU elections. For the freshers, this was another step on their path towards being a part of a democracy. For the seniors, it was a chance to re-evaluate their choices and right the wrongs.

However, as the election season swings around, we find ourselves questioning whom to vote for. There is a rise in environmental issues related rallies, women development meetings, fee reduction movements – anything and everything that could help in gathering votes. Young men and women are seen standing outside the Vishwavidyalaya metro station distributing pamphlets expressing promises the parties make every year, and the Faculty of Arts keeps bustling with movements and speeches. It is here that we find ourselves questioning whom to vote for – do we vote for the party which we have believed in since we learned how to spell politics, or is it the party which promises to get us subsidised metro rides?

Ideologies become a part of our identity as we enter the politically active space that is DU. Students can be seen aligning themselves with the Saffron or associating with the Left in friendly conversations and college debates all over the campus. After all, political alignment helps in giving a sense of what a person believes in. Political ideologies, thus, serve as a compass that gives direction to both the candidates and the voters- not only politically, but also socially and economically. “To me, ideology matters. If a party is elected, their manifesto completion may be subjected to them, but their ideology will never change,” says Chhavi Bahmba, a student at Sri Venkateswara College.
“When I go out to vote, I look for whom I, as a person and as a part of my state, my country, my community identity, and my gender, can relate to the most. At the end of the day, every political party campaigns for the same thing but it’s their take on controversial issues that set them apart,” adds Faaria Hilaly, a first-year student from Miranda House.

In contrast, manifestos have been one of the most important bases to make a choice. While the issues and agenda of politics during the election are set much before the publishing of the manifesto, a manifesto serves as an official statement which lets us know what we might be getting, by getting them the iron throne. Similarly, the history of the developments by the party plays an equally important role in swaying the votes. While an attractive manifesto with a similar track of work could do wonders in moving the heaviest rocks, nothing is more unappealing than a poor track record. “I feel that their manifesto matters more, as does their history of work. It’s important to consider whether they work or just paint pretty pictures,” says Nighat, a student at Aryabhatta College.

“I had asked my parents to not vote for the party in power despite identifying with them, seeing how its economic measures have caused our business trouble. But they identify themselves too strongly with it,” adds an Economics student who did not wish to be named. “I think both are complementary to each other,” says Anshula Basil, a first- year student at Miranda House. Since an ideological stance can often be a privilege that arises out of socio-economic conditions, the manifesto we choose ends up becoming a better representation of what we want. Often, a manifesto is the result of an ideology pushed far. Which is why, on a closer look, the two are not mutually exclusive.

Feature Image Credits: DU Beat Archives

Satviki Sanjay

[email protected]

The campaigning for Delhi University Students’ elections 2019 took an eventful turn in  Miranda House as Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) and All India Students’ Association (AISA) came in to present their manifesto.

On 9th September 2019, Miranda House conducted its official manifesto reading, where it allowed the DUSU candidates to present their manifestos and carry out campaigning in the college. The students of Miranda House gathered in the college auditorium to attend the manifesto reading. However, it did not go as expected.

The Vice-Presidential candidate from ABVP, Pradeep Tanwar, came to address the students and present the manifesto of the party but he was met with chants of “ABVP! Go Back!”. The students of Miranda House led the chants for about seven minutes until the representatives of the party finally left.

Amidst the loud chants, the candidates tried to speak in favour of the party. Tanwar asked the students to let him speak for five minutes but on not being given any chance to speak, the representatives showed their ballot numbers and left.

This was followed by a scuffle between the ABVP members from Miranda House and the other Miranda students where the girls could be heard saying, “nahi chahiye humein ABVP (We don’t want ABVP)”, while the administration tried to control the situation.

ABVP’s departure was followed by AISA’s manifesto reading. When AISA’s Presidential Candidate, Damni Kain, came on the podium, most of the students from Miranda House started cheering for AISA, while, the ABVP members of Miranda House were heard chanting “AISA! Go Back!”.

Aapka yeh response na ki sirf humare liye encouraging hai, but har us bacche ke liye encouraging hai jo DU ka common student hai; jo university mein sirf padhne ke liye aata hai, aur jo gundagardi ko tahe dil se reject karta hai (not only is your response encouraging for us, but also for every person who is a common student of DU; who comes to DU to study and rejects all forms of hooliganism)”, said Kain in her speech as a DUSU Presidential Candidate.

However, after Kain’s speech was over, an ABVP student member could be heard saying, “Manifesto reading mein manifesto toh bolte hi nahi ho. karne kya aaye the bhaisahab? (You didn’t talk about your manifesto in the manifesto reading. What were you even here for then?)”

As reported earlier, the members of ABVP had disrupted the Tempest’19, the Annual Cultural fest of Miranda House, and had demanded entry, banging and pushing the gate in lieu of then relevant, Hindu College’s V-Tree protest. Hence, the dissent against them came stronger.

Video Credits: Priya Chauhan for DU Beat

Video Caption: Chants of “ABVP, Go Back!” could be heard in the auditorium at Miranda House during ABVP manifesto reading.

Feature Image Credits: DU Beat Archives

Satviki Sanjay

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Priya Chauhan

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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

Satviki Sanjay

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Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) has released their 2019-20 manifesto for the Delhi University Students’ Union (DUSU) elections.

ABVP has released their 2019-20 manifesto for the DUSU elections, with the vision that when the University of Delhi (DU) celebrates its centenary year in 2022, it should be in among the top 200 universities in the world, and must top the NIRF rankings. The manifesto puts emphasis on the 5Ps-

  • Parisar (Campus)
  • Pathyakram (Course)
  • Pravesh (Admission)
  • Pareeksha (Examination)
  • Parinam (Result)


  • Parisar (Campus): Demands for state-of-the-art infrastructure and other facilities that are important to support students in higher education.
  1. ABVP initiated a campaign for “Paryavaran Yukt- Nasha Mukt” Parisar.
  2. ABVP demands a plastic-free, smoke-free, and safe and secure campus.
  3. ABVP stands firm on its commitment towards sports students of the University.
  4. New colleges should be opened with state-of-the-art infrastructure.
    1. University stadium, polo grounds and other sports ground should be [accessible] before all students.
    2. Diet rates for sports students should be increased in line with the price index. Attendance relaxation should be given to sports personnel and ECA students.
  • High-class sports’ equipment should be provided to students.
  1. We demand special assistance for sports personnel and ECA students.
  1. New hostels should be opened by the University.
  2. The overall infrastructure of the University should [be] improved and modernised, especially Tagore Hall, and Shankar Hall.
  3. We would also struggle for the establishment of East and West campuses.
  4. We would demand more beds at the university medical centre.
  5. We would try to get the Central and Arts Library fully digitised.
  6. We reiterate our long-standing demand to have one sports complex in the South Campus.
  7. Photocopy, scanner and printer shop should be in all colleges.
  8. We are also dedicated to struggle towards bettering hostel facilities in South Campus.
  9. Room rent control action should be executed most effectively.
  10. Free Wi-Fi services in every Department and college of the university.
  11. We would also demand to provide free computers with internet facility to the students on the college campus.
  12. Sanitation issues in colleges: Good and clean toilets for students in all colleges. ABVP also demands water coolers at every 200 metres at Chhatra Marg.
  13. The University Health Centre card should be issued for all students.
  14. To stop the exploitation of students who belong to outside of Delhi, Coordination Committee of Private Hostel owners, Land Lords and Students should be made.
  15. Open gym in all colleges.
  16. Free education for [the] transgender [community].
  17. Facilities for differently-abled students in all departments and colleges.
  18. Health Wellness Society in all colleges and departments.
  19. Healthy and subsidized food for students in all colleges and departments.
  20. Healthy and subsidized food canteen in North Campus.
  21. Formation of Gender Sensitization and Complaints Committee under DUSU to instil inclusivity for the LGBTQ+ community in DU.


  • Pathyakram (Curriculum): ABVP envisages that the Du curriculum should be subjected to the 3Rs: Review, Rational Debate, and Representation.

    1. The academic council of DU should have student representation.
    2. Remedial classes for all SC/ST/OBC/Economically weak students.
    3. The Central Placement Cell of the University should be more effective. It should also work in tandem with the Skill Development Department of the government.
    4. Dedicated staff should be employed by the University.
    5. Placement officer in all colleges.
    6. ABVP will try to provide social internship to at least 10,000 DU students in various government and non-government organisations.
    7. We would try to make Post Graduate class available in Hindi medium and provision for Hindi medium exam writing mode as well.
    8. Students should be allowed to choose their Generic Subjects as per their own choice; it shouldn’t be imposed on them.
    9. Effective utilization of MOOCs; credit transfer should be allowed if students wish to do their courses on SWAYAM or other MOOC platforms.
    10. Special departmental classes for training students to take the NET exam.
    11. English speaking classes for needy students should be introduced to make them more confident and employable.
    12. Notes and Reading Materials should be provided in regional languages.
    13. Value-based education through counselling.
    14. NSS, Yoga, and NCC should be offered as elective.
    15. Health and Wellness Society in all colleges for Fit India.
    16. Funding and Social Entrepreneurship.
    17. Effective implantation of EK Bharat Shrestha Bharat Programme.
    18. We would demand to introduce evening classes in every college of the university so that more students can get the chance to study at this prestigious university.


  • Pravesh (Admission): ABVP demands to further simplify the admission procedure to get into DU.
  1. One course, One Fee: ABVP will make sure that same fee is charged throughout the University for a Particular Course.
  2. The admission process should be made more student-friendly and priorities of the students should be taken care especially in matters of college and courses.
  3. We also demand to give concessions in admission to the students who belong to the rural background.
  4. Some colleges have introduced few specialised courses without proper infrastructure, we demand from the university authorities to first improve the infrastructure and then introduce new courses.
  5. We would work for the increment in the scholarships for SC/ST/OBC and demand to link scholarship with price index in line with the increase in DA.
  6. We would also try to get the vacant OBC/SC/ST/PH seats in various colleges filled. Various aspects of the fee structure of the university will be analysed so that we can make an effort to make it more equitable and logical.
  7. We would also struggle for scholarships to all SC/ST/PH students.
  8. Admission in sports and ECA quota should be done in a very transparent manner. ABVP supports students’ demands to fix parameters for ECA quota.
  9. Special Admissions drive should be started in all colleges after elections to fill all the vacant seats in all the categories.
  10. University should make inter-college migration policy transparent and clear at the beginning of the admission process.
  11. Centralised Hostel Application Form.


  • Pareeksha (Examination): ABVP demands that both admission and semester examinations should be held in a manner that provides students with ample time to prepare.
  1. Generic Electives and Skill Enhancement Courses (SECs) are scheduled on the same day in the morning and evening, which is taxing on students.
  2. Draft datesheet should also be shared with student unions and councils for their feedback.
  3. We demand that the university must start special supplementary examinations for the final year students of all courses.
  4. One-time special chance should be given by the VC to all the students to complete their degree.
  5. ABVP demands student-friendly Internal Assessment monitoring committee and grievance redressal cell.
  6. A review committee should be set up to increase the extra time given to specially-abled students.
  7. Regular Assignments and Exams should happen throughout the semester for continuous evaluation for Internal Assessments.
  8. Students should be given an additional chance to improve their Internal Assessments.


  • Parinam (Results): ABVP demands that results be declared on time and without delays.
  1. The university calendar should include fixed fate of result declaration.
  2. By this date, all the colleges and departments should necessarily declare the results.
  3. The results of supplementary examinations should be declared before the beginning of the new session so that the final year students can take admission in the commencing academic year.
  4. If students demand they should be given a chance to view their final exam sheets with a minimum cost if required.
  5. Teachers should not boycott evaluation and make students as a victim of their protest.
  6. All the students should get an online certified copy of mark sheet and also printed mark sheet of all the semesters separately.
  7. The result should clearly highlight the marks scored in different subjects with the bifurcation of Internal Assessment marks.
  8. University should develop a mechanism to expedite the printing and delivery of Degree to the students post their course completion.


ABVP has also introduced a manifesto for female students. The party claims that ABVP led DUSU will organise Mission Sahasi 2.0: Making of the Fearless to strengthen the educational facilities, safety, and security for women at the college and university campus, by making the following efforts:

  • Continue with the demand to make North Campus a compact campus.
  • To make girl students more self-confident by organising Self-Defence Training Camps in various colleges and university campus.
  • Try for the provision of police both near every hostel/college and make sure that there are female police staffs present at every booth.
  • Girls Activity Centre should be established, mobile apps for the safety of female students like I Feel Safe should be available to all, and awareness must be spread.
  • Patrolling of PCR vans around colleges and especially around girls’ hostels should be increased.
  • We demand a permanent DUSU office having a welcoming atmosphere, where students can visit any time to raise their problem or suggestion if any.
  • ICC elections should be held in all the colleges and departments in time and complaint box should be present.
  • Restrictions should be made on the entry of outsiders in the college campus.
  • CCTV cameras should be installed in colleges and departments.
  • Each college should have their security team 24/7.
  • Gender Sensitisation camps and programs should be organised by student unions of colleges.
  • Sanitary Napkin Vending Machines and Incinerators should be there in all colleges.
  • Girls Common Room should be made available in all colleges.
  • Proper signs outside male and female washrooms.
  • Female trainers in sports and ECA as per students.
  • Helpline should be introduced at the college level for students being abused on social media websites.

ABVP will be contesting with this manifesto in the DUSU Elections 2019-20 on 12th September 2019.

Feature Image Credits: Janam TV

Shreya Juyal

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For the upcoming Delhi University Students’ Union (DUSU) elections, Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) reveals that building new hostels is going to be the main agenda in their manifesto.

As reported by The Hindu, Sidharth Yadav, the State Secretary of ABVP said, “Building hostels will be the key agenda in our manifesto. With the commercialization of private hostels, rents have gone up.”

On 25th August 2019, the candidates from ABVP visited the University students living in hostels and paying guest accommodations and raised the issue of insufficient accommodation facilities provided by the University of Delhi (DU) for outstation students. Monika Chaudhary, the National Media Convener of ABVP said, “We had sent an application to the administration a while back with respect to building new hostels but they have not reverted to us, so we are going to campaign for it now. We are also hoping to get strong support from the government of Uttar Pradesh to build hostels for students from there. With regard to this, our President, Shakti Singh had a meeting with the Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath a while back.”

ABVP talked to the students about their campaign for the construction of new hostels in the University as a step against students having to pay a lot for their residence while completing their education. They asked for support concerning this in the upcoming DUSU elections.

Many students across the campus have shown support for this campaign. Sana Sharma, a student of DU and a resident of paying guest accommodation in North Campus said, “The University has very few hostels which are not able to accommodate even half of the student population. Only very few people get a place in these hostels and the rest of us have to have to pay very high prices for accommodations in Delhi. It is very inconvenient and costly. I support ABVP’s campaign to build new hostels and hope that the administration will hear us.”

Feature Image Credits: IndiaTV

Juhi Bhargava
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Yesterday, the ABVP read out its election manifesto in Miranda House. However, they had to leave soon as they were shamed off the stage by the audience.

In what was a short session for the representatives of the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP), there was huge uproar in Miranda House today over their manifesto reading for the DUSU elections. The manifesto reading started with a representative of ABVP who initially claimed that he was Ankiv Baisoya, the Presidential candidate of the ABVP. However, when it was found out that he wasn’t Ankiv Baisoya, the Students’ Union of Miranda House admonished the ABVP for lying about their candidate. The representative, whose name we couldn’t find, gave the justification that he was representing Ankiv Baisoya. However, the students refused to listen to him after that, even when he attempted to argue that free speech should be protected especially in Miranda House.

Sudhir Dedha, the ABVP’s candidate for the post of General Secretary, started campaigning by mentioning his ballot numbers, although due to the booing that happened, he was soon cut off. A student asked him about the recent comments made by Shri Niwas, the National Joint Organising Secretary, in a rally about the colleges of Ramjas College, Hindu College, Miranda House, and Kirori Mal College being ’hubs of Naxalism’ to which Mr. Dedha replied, “We won’t tolerate those who say Bharat ke tukde honge, inshallah! (Bharat will be broken up, inshallah)”. This generated even more uproar in the auditorium.

Mr. Dedha was also asked about the recent ban in two books by Nandini Sundar and Archana Prasad on the charges that these had “sympathy towards the Naxalite movement”. He replied, “If any book is claiming that Bhagat Singh is a terrorist, we don’t think such books should be there (in the syllabus).”

Notably, Archana Prasad’s book is called “Against Ecological Romanticism: Verrier Elwin and the Making of an Anti-modern Tribal identity” while Nandini Sundar’s book is called “Subalterns and Sovereigns: An Anthropological History of Bastar”. Neither of the books mention anything about Bhagat Singh.

Sudhir Dedha remained unavailable for comment when DU Beat attempted to contact him.

Feature Image Credits: DU Beat

Sara Sohail

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The NSUI made a public declaration of policy and aims, especially one issued before an election by a political party or candidate on the 27th of August. Here’s all you need about their goals and promises.

On Monday, 27th August 2018, The National Students’ Union of India (NSUI) announced it’s manifesto with respect to the 2018 Delhi University Students’ Unions (DUSU) Elections. At the NSUI Office near Rashtrapati Bhawan in New Delhi, a panel of NSUI student leaders stood before a room packed with journalists and photographers, as they announced their goals and promises for the upcoming year, should NSUI win.

Ruchi Gupta, Joint Secretary, NSUI began by stating the core principles of NSUI; progress, freedom, diversity and empowerment. She emphasized five primary objectives, namely – 

  • Demand for Institute of Eminence status for University of Delhi.

Owing to the substandard global rankings of even the best Indian academic institutions, the government decided that three private and three public universities will be declared as Institutes of Eminence. These Institutions of Eminence would be given significant autonomy in operations — from setting their curriculum and recruiting foreign faculty to entering academic tie-ups. The selected government institutions would also be given up to ?1,000 crore over five years to help them become world-class. The ultimate objective is for these Institutions of Eminence to acquire global standing in a few years.

The NSUI raised objections over UGC’s rejection of DU as an institute of eminence, and even brought up the controversy of DU being Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s alleged alma-mater. They emphasised of the controversy of Jio Institute being names as an Institute of Eminence, but the central government has already addressed it, saying Jio comes under the ‘greenfield’ category- the status will only be given on evaluation of performance after three years.

  • A campaign to identify 100 young women leaders in DU, to be mentored by former Chief Minister of Delhi, Ms Sheila Dixit.

The Pehli-Pidi programme focuses on first generation college students, under which 100 women will be identified and trained.This is an extension of NSUI’s vision to inculcate women into leadership roles, that they have previously worked upon by releasing a Women’s Manifesto ahead of Elections and by enabling the installment of Sanitary Pad Vending Machines in 32 DU Colleges.

  • Demand for subsidized Meal Thali for Rs. 10/- each.

They highlighted that over 70% of students are from economically weaker sections of society, and claimed that since IITs and IIMs provide subsidized food to their students, it would only be fair for DU students to expectthe same.

  • Concessional Student passes in Delhi Metro and DTC Buses.

Bringing light to the metro rail concessions available to students in Kolkata, the panel highlighted why a similar concession is important to DU students. Mentioning a well known incident where NSUI members jumped on metro tracks as protest, the members claimed that NSUI has been successful putting a break to metro fare hikes till 2020.

  • Demand for distribution of free laptops among DU students.

This demand has infamously been opposed by the CBCS in the past, and the panel was vague regarding the logistics of implementation and funding of this idea.

Fairoz Khan, National President NSUI took the floor to highlight NSUI’s achievements in the previous year. He talked about 24*7 library services for students brought about, installation of sanitary pad Vending Machines in 32 colleges and the launch of D-Youth, the first ever DU magazine, which was infamously interrupted by several ABVP members.

The panel claimed that the entry of CYSS into the 2018 elections was with the underlying agenda of dividing up anti-ABVP votes and bring down the gap in the ratio of votes. The panel also expressed grievances regarding the paucity of campaigning time available to them, which leads to confusion, uncertainty and mistrust among young voters. They also addressed the low voting turnout, and claimed the underlying reason for the same is mere 4 hours voting time provided to colleges with strengths of 3000+ students, a majority of which are first time EVM users.

Budget cuts, lack of transparency,  poor infrastructure for differently-abled, discriminatory hostel timings for women, women’s safety and security were a few miscellaneous issues brought forward by the panel.

The modus operandi of NSUI for 2018-19 is fairly promising and inclusive of the welfare of all DU students.
Feature Image Credits –  Adithya Khanna for DU Beat

Nikita Bhatia 

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