National Students' Union of India leader Vishal Chaudhary seemed crestfallen after the Delhi University Students' Union poll results were announced. The chances of making it to mainstream politics appeared slimmer for Chaudhary after he was edged out by Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad's Aman Awana.
Chaudhary has reason to be disappointed. Arun Jaitley and Ajay Maken, among several others, were DUSU presidents before going on to make a splash in national politics.
"This is like an internship for students who want to make it to mainstream politics," said Vijender Gupta, senior BJP leader, who was the DUSU president in 1977-78. "DU as a platform is widely recognised."
"This is a stepping stone to a career in politics. My election as the DUSU president has proved a great starting point, said Vijay Jolly, senior BJP leader and the DUSU president in 1980-81.
"Political parties will ensure that candidates who work diligently, also make it to the civic, state and the national levels," Jolly added.
Former DUSU members who have made it to important positions in municipal politics warn that the winner must not become complacent.
"Many candidates end up taking their positions lightly. Once elected, they tend to take things for granted," said Amrita Dhawan, councillor (Vikas Puri), who was the DUSU president during 2006-07.
"Senior party workers keep a watch on the kind of work those elected to DUSU are doing. There is little chance for the winners to make it to mainstream politics if they begin taking matters lightly," the councillor added.