When the Delhi University went to polls on Friday, enthusiasm among top contenders — Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) and the National Students’ Union of India (NSUI) — waned as the day wore on.
While the students’ turnout stood at 40% last year, this year the turnout was even less with only 39.55% voters of the total 1.2 lakh till the evening.
“The response was significantly low this year. It reflects the coldness of the students towards the elections. However, we cannot really pinpoint specific reasons as to why the response was low,” said Ashok Vohra, chief election officer, DU.
The polling took place from 8 am to 12 pm for morning colleges and from 4 pm to 7 pm for evening colleges in at least 50 colleges of the varsity.
“Our teams did the rounds of every centre and the election process was very peaceful. Even though there were rumours of malfunctioning machines, nothing of that sort happened. The only technical glitch happened at Khalsa College where there was a problem in one of the booths, which was fixed within 15 minutes. The principal informed us as soon as it happened and it was taken care of,” he added.
While results are expected to be announced on Saturday afternoon, student political parties seemed skeptical of the outcome.
“The response has been very poor this time. It is probably because of the spate of violence that took place in the days preceding the elections. The lion’s share of the voters comes in the morning and this time, there was hardly any turnout,” said Rohit Chahal, state secretary, ABVP.
Despite the feeble response, NSUI— which witnessed a landlside victory in the polls — was confident of its fate this year too.
“Our issues are very realistic and student-centric. The students know that we have delivered all promises that were made. We are not worried about losing and are fairly confident of the result,” said Amrishranjan Pandey, spokesperson, NSUI.
Meanwhile, the Delhi police seized at least 15 vehicles of various party workers and detained 124 activists for distributing printed pamphlets during the electoral process. However, they were released later.