Virtually sweeping the Delhi University Students Union elections, the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP), won three out of four seats, including that of the president, on Saturday.
Jitender Choudhary won the post of president while Priya Dabas was elected as vice president. Neetu Dabas, who was elected as the secretary, defeated her National Students' Union of India (NSUI) rival Deepika Deswal by 4,495 votes.
Akshay Kumar, who won the post of joint secretary, was the only winning candidate for NSUI but he barely managed to do so, defeating ABVP's Saurabh Uniyal by a margin of just 626 votes. The ABVP cadre said the election results were a mandate against the Delhi government and changes brought in NSUI.
"The students have spoken up against the price rise and the changes brought in the NSUI," said Swadesh Singh, media coordinator, ABVP.
This is for the first time in seven years that the ABVP has won three out of the four posts of the DUSU.
Other parties contesting elections were not able to secure any seat. All India Students' Federation's presidential candidate Aparajitha, daughter of CPI leader D Raja, got 2,999 votes and came third behind the ABVP and NSUI candidates.
The NSUI, meanwhile, said the transformation in the party system was the reason for the poor show in the polls.
"The party is going through a transformation. The candidates of the party are now elected through internal elections. Any new experiment goes through initial problems," said Shahnavaz Chaudhary, state secretary of NSUI.
He also attributed the huge loss to low voter turnout.
"The polling was very low. Hostels were closed and students had gone home for Janamashtmi. The rain also affected turnout. We will introspect and will come out with better results next year," said Chaudhary.
The turnout was a mere 35 per cent this year. NSUI rejected ABVP's claim that the results were a mandate against the government.
"This is strictly a students' election and it has got nothing to do with the state or central government. We deal with student issues," Chaudhary added.