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Gearing up for the big fight

After failing to capture the president’s post in DUSU elections for five consecutive years, the ABVP is hoping to strike the winning formula this time, reports HT Correspondent.

delhi Updated: Aug 28, 2008 23:27 IST

After failing to capture the president’s post in DUSU elections for five consecutive years, the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) is hoping to strike the winning formula this time.

It has carefully chosen a panel of experienced party workers and has two women candidates in the fray.

Nupur Sharma, an Economics graduate from Hindu College, is running for president and Anupriya Yadav, a student of Political Science at Kirori Mal College, will fight for the post of secretary.

“We agree that we are both glamourous, but that is not our fault. We look good but we work better,” said Yadav, dismissing allegations that ABVP has resorted to glamour to fight the NSUI.

Sharma emphasised the need to make the campus environment student-friendly.

“Before we promise big things to students, let us look at the basic amenities,” said Sharma. “Not all colleges have clean drinking water. Bathrooms are filthy and the admission process is so cumbersome,” she said.

Meanwhile, the National Students Union of India (NSUI), the youth wing of the Congress, has finalised a political greenhorn as the presidential candidate.

Sonia Sapra, a first year student of Saheed Bhagat Singh College, has been pushed into the forefront after the NSUI controversially overlooked some of its more experienced student workers.

Without any knowledge of the party’s manifesto or work done in the past, Sapra was at a loss when asked about the issues she would take up.

“I will take up the issue of more hostels for women and installation of CCTVs in hostels,” said Sapra, after much prompting from present DUSU president Amrita Bahri.

However, she maintained that she was a natural since she belonged to a “Congress family”. “My father has been a Congressman since long and I have always wanted to be like him,” Sapra said.

Amit Choudhary and Ashish Gahlot, who are contesting for the position of secretary and joint secretary, respectively, are also freshers with little experience of students’ politics. The only old hand is vice-presidential candidate Manohar Naagar, who has been with the NSUI for four years now.

“We have been successful in getting Rs 32 crore from the Central government for construction of hostels. If the NSUI is elected, we will ensure that construction of hostels begin at the earliest,” said Amrita Dhawan, national spokesperson of the NSUI.

Both parties are finding it difficult to adhere to the Lyngdoh Committee recommendations.

“Student politics will be finished if so much control is put on elections. Postgraduate students are unable to contest. And what can a student do with Rs 5,000,” said Raj Kumar Sharma, ABVP state president, Delhi.

Although the bill of the lunch hosted by the NSUI on Thursday was a cool Rs 35,000, DU does not recognise the parties. “Individually, each candidate will spend only Rs 5,000 as per the recommendations and not more,” said Dhawan.