The Delhi University Students Union (DUSU) election scheduled for September 14 is likely to become an austere affair.
The principal parties — National Students' Union of India (NSUI) and the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) — are not happy with the move. The university administration is cracking down on extravagant campaigns. "This is ridiculous. First, they asked us to stop organising rallies but then we were anyway going to go ahead with it. Now, as per the new guidelines the candidates cannot be accompanied by more than four people while canvassing. Each candidate has given just R5000 to meet campaign expenses," said Rohit Chahal, state secretary, ABVP.And it is not just the budget that has been cut down. The time for campaigning has been restricted till 8pm.
"After 8pm, it is not advisable to enter a girls' or a boys' hostel to campaign. Earlier, rival candidates used to fight over it. Students get free by 6 pm and the candidates will have two extra hours to do their canvassing. Also, earlier the candidates were accompanied by bouncers and a huge crowd during campaigning. There is no need for such distraction," said CS Dubey, chief election officer, DUSU.
While several party members are miffed with the changes in election guidelines, the election office maintained that the aim of DUSU elections is to familiarise students with the democratic and political system of the country.
"This is not a national-level election. These polls are conducted to teach students how the political and democratic process works in our country. By embarking on rallies and demonstrations, students end up disrupting classes," added Dubey.
With just two weeks to go for the polls on September 14, the campaigning has picked up space on the campus. Both the NSUI and ABVP — who have put up candidates for all four posts on the students body panel.