It is the biggest students union election in any Indian university. But the Delhi University Students Union (DUSU) election seems to be slowly losing its relevance among students.
Except for posters plastered on the campus walls, there is no activity in the colleges. Students are not discussing candidates and debating their strong and weak points.
Moreover, with college unions having their own elections, students could not care less for DUSU.
“DUSU is too politically aligned for our taste,” said Anushka Menon, a third-year student of Miranda House. “It’s a replication of what happens at the national level and we don’t find much representation there,” Menon said.
The relevance of DUSU seems to be limited to the months of August and September, the election time.
“Candidates come and canvass but then the issues are forgotten. This is my third year and I heard the NSUI presidential candidate talking of hotel facilities for girls for the third time,” said Tenzin Lampang, a student of Hindu College.
The general perception about DUSU elections also seems to be negative — violence, power play and loads of money.
Four days after campaigning began, the party in power, NSUI, has been embroiled in more than one incident of violence. Both the NSUI and the ABVP have also openly flouted the code of conduct.
“We don’t see intellectual debates that JNU candidates hold. There, students and teachers discuss issues in a democratic forum,” said Harish, a second year Economics students of Hans Raj College.
“The debates at JNU also give us an idea about the candidates thoughts and personality,” he added.
Officials, however, feel that DUSU elections might change for better now.
“The Lyngdoh Committee recommendations will ensure that a candidate must have minimum 75 per cent attendance and must not have any criminal record,” said Gurpreet Singh Tuteja, deputy dean (Students Welfare).
This would ensure that parties field quality candidates, he said.
“These conditions are not easy to meet and one has to be good in academics. Hopefully, such measures will go a long way in cleansing DUSU polls,” Tuteja said.
Majority of students give college union elections preference over DUSU elections.