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Freebies for votes

education Updated: Sep 06, 2011 21:48 IST
Garima Upadhyay
Garima Upadhyay
Hindustan Times
Highlight Story

With voting just two days away, campaigning at Delhi University (DU) has reached fever pitch. The campus is also abuzz with talk of the lucrative offers students are getting from some candidates in exchange of votes.

Says Arun Singh (name changed), a third-year DU student, “Elections are an eventful activity. Free notepads, pens, movie tickets, free meals at cafes and invitations to parties are just some of the things that are offered to us for our votes. We thought some campaigners would not indulge in such activities after the Anna Hazare campaign, but that has not happened.”

Spending is also an issue. Despite the Lyngdoh Committee’s election expense limit of R5,000 for each candidate, students say some campaign spends are way beyond the limit. Does that mean rules are being flouted? “Not really. It’s done very smartly. Though the candidate doesn’t spend more that R5,000, the supporters go out of their way to ensure their candidate wins,” adds Sharma.

Now to the crucial question: is R5,000 enough? Sandeep Dubey, an NSUI supporter and a second-year MA student, says, “The limit has been pegged really low. It is very difficult to manage with this amount.” However, Maneesh Singh, a third-year-student of Hans Raj College, who is also a supporter of Samajwadi Chhatra Sabha, says, “The limit is ok. More than money, students’ support counts for us and we are aiming to win their trust through our manifesto. We are fighting for more girls’ hostels on campus, a common subsidised mess for students, 24/7 library and regulating PGs in and around the campus. We take up students’ issues and work towards creating a better environment for students.”

Make the right choice
.
Who should you be voting for? Is a candidate fighting for better facilities? Subsidised food at the canteen? A better library? Good promises could mean good candidates
. Check a campaigner’s past records. See who has fulfilled promises. Find out which group has been effective on campus. Then vote

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