As students of Jawaharlal Nehru College (JNU) came forward to cast their votes for the JNU Students' Union (JNUSU) election on Friday, one issue dominated their voting patterns.
While close to 58% of students came to vote, most of them said they supported the candidates who promised to fix the hostel crisis.
“JNU is supposed to be a residential campus yet so many of us have to rent rooms outside to make sure that we get to college on time every day. For new students, it takes more than a year to get a hostel provided they are lucky,” said Mahima Sinha, an MA student, who has taken a flat on rent in Munirka.
This time the voting percentage was recorded as 57.95% as against 60% in March.
"The voting was peaceful. A larger percentage of students — 47% — came out to vote. The results will be declared by Sunday," said Chandan, chairperson, Election Committee.
For students, the other important issues were Wi-Fi connectivity and transparency in M.Phil and PhD admissions.
“It is all very well for parties to speak about national issues but first we need to rectify the problems in our own campus. We need a functioning wi-fi connection, which is a basic facility in almost all universities across the world,” said Rishi Kumar Jaiswal, an M Phil student.
“I am not voting on the basis party affiliations. I have studied the credentials of the candidates and decided to vote for the best among the 30 candidates,” said Priyank Sharma, a student of Centre for Studies of the Social Systems.
The JNUSU elections have been held for the second time in six months. The elections in March were held after a gap of four years as the students had refused to accept the Lyngdoh Committee recommendations of 2008. A compromise was reached in February and some relaxation in age criteria allowed.