Today is election day in Delhi University, and contenders have left no stone unturned to woo their supporters. In fact, one of the major contesting parties — the National Students’ Union of India (NSUI), has roped in Bollywood stars, cricketers and political bigwigs to campaign for them.
On Wednesday, Bollywood actor Mahima Chaudhry was seen campaigning for the party across North and South Campus. MP Shashi Tharoor, who was the student’s union president at St Stephen’s College in 1974, asked DU students to vote for NSUI.
"Wishing @nsui panel of efficient& experienced candidates all success!" he wrote on Twitter. MPs Mohammed Azharuddin and Naveen Jindal also tweeted their support. Bollywood actor Riteish Deshmukh wrote, "Show your support: @nsui DUSU panel..."
"When seniors ask people to support us it works in our favour in two ways — it is a great morale booster for the candidates and voters see it as a vote of confidence," says Shahnawaz Khan, national secretary, NSUI.
However, Rohit Chahal, state secretary of rival party Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) feels that star power is unnecessary. "Our main focus is student elections and winning it with our own strength without depending on celebs," he says.
Even students are divided over whether the technique works or not. "Obviously, I will go and vote for a party which has celebs campaigning; it’s very impressive for someone who is not clued into politics," says Arun Raheja of Sri Aurobindo College. "What matters is what work the party promises to do for the students, not who they can get to endorse their campaign," says Gaurav Sharma of Dyal Singh College.
"Met @nsui candidates for DUSU. Charming and promising. Wish them success & appeal all DU students to exercise their franchise & elect them."
Mohammed Azharuddin, MP
Show your support:@nsui DUSU panel...”
Riteish Deshmukh, Actor
“DelhiU students r2elect their Union, largest student rep body in India. Wishing @nsui panel of efficient& experienced candidates all success!”
Shashi Tharoor, MP