The Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) on Saturday clinched the president’s post in the Delhi University Students’ Union (DUSU) elections but lost the other three top slots to arch rival National Students Union of India (NSUI).
With a total of 10,345 votes, ABVP presidential candidate Nupur Sharma, an Economics graduate from Hindu College, defeated NSUI’s Sonia Sapra. ABVP has won this post after five years.
“My win shows money is not important for winning DUSU elections. What is important is ability,” said Sharma, soon after the results were declared.
“A turnout of 40 per cent is miserable. We need to change students’ perspective and involve them in the political process,” she added.
ABVP’s Vasu Rukhar lost to NSUI’s Manohar Naagar by 848 votes for the Vice-president’s post.
Amit Choudhary of the NSUI defeated ABVP’s Anupriya Yadav for the post of Secretary by 9,381 votes.
Ashish Gahlot of the NSUI became the Joint Secretary with the largest margin of 3,830 votes. His nearest rival was Mukesh Kumar Shukla of the ABVP.
“Students have placed their faith in me and I will fulfil my promises,” said Gahlot.
According to ABVP sources, the NSUI’s clever caste politics won them the election and Rukhar was bound to lose.
“Rukhar was facing opposition from within the party. Many upper caste ABVP supporters did not want to vote for Rukhar, a Scheduled Caste candidate,” said a highly placed source on conditions of anonymity.
In contrast, his rival Manohar Naagar had all the support of the Gujjar community.
All four NSUI candidates visited Congress president Sonia Gandhi at her residence after the declaration of results.
“Soniaji congratulated all of them and asked them to fulfil all the promises they had made,” said Anand Pandey, spokesperson, NSUI.
Meanwhile, ABVP candidates and supporters turned violent after losing three of the four posts.
Protestors demonstrated in front of the office of Dean Students Welfare (DSW), demanding immediate recounting of the votes for the posts of vice president and secretary.
The protest turned violent when supporters threw a bottle of kerosene inside the DSW’s office. Police had to resort to lathicharge and make preventive detentions.
“They (ABVP) cannot demand recounting because they lost the elections. If they felt there was foul play during counting they should have pointed it out on the spot rather than destroying public property,” said Gurmeet Singh, Chief Election Officer and Proctor, DU.
The ABVP alleged the results had been rigged.
“The officials told us both Vasu and I had a lead. Then suddenly we had both lost,” said Anupriya Yadav, who fought for the Secretary’s post.