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DUSU election 2018: Counting suspended over EVM malfunction; NSUI alleges sabotage

NSUI members staged a protests outside the counting centre alleging that the administration was trying to temper the results because the ABVP was trailing in counting for the president’s post.

delhi Updated: Sep 13, 2018 15:37 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
DUSU elections 2018,DUSU election 2018 results,Delhi
Heavy security as there was sucffle in side counting centre among the students at counting centre in New Police Line in New Delhi.(Sushil Kumar/HT Photo)

The Delhi University administration on Thursday suspended counting of votes in the high-stakes Delhi University Students’ Union (DUSU) elections following protests over EVM malfunctioning with the NSUI and the ABVP leading in two seats each.

“Counting is suspended for today.... Meeting is going on. We will announce final decision by the evening,” chief election officer VK Kaul said after the administration stopped the counting.

The suspension of counting drew immediate fire from the Congress’ students’ wing National Students’ Union of India (NSUI) whose candidates for the president and secretary’s posts were leading. NSUI members staged protests outside the counting centre alleging that the administration was trying to temper the results because the ABVP was trailing in counting for the president’s post.

“NSUI was winning DUSU President and Secretary after 6 rounds. Then 6 EVMs started malfunctioning and EC wanted to set those aside. How is it that machines which were working till yesterday during polling are no longer working during counting? Clearly some sabotage to help ABVP,” said Ruchi Gupta, national in-charge of the NSUI.

“At one point, votes were being displayed for Secretary post on ballot number 10. There is no ballot number 10, NOTA the last ballot was on ballot number 9,” she said.

But ABVP’s candidate for the DUSU vice president’s post, Shakti Singh accused the NSUI of creating a ruckus to force the counting’s suspension.

“They wanted the counting to be stopped so they created a ruckus which forced the election officials to suspend the counting,” he said.

Follow live updates: DUSU election 2018 results

Ahead of the suspension of the counting, members of both ABVP and NSUI created ruckus inside the counting centre. Some of them tried to jump barricades and got into arguments with officials following which counting was suspended with both the NSUI and the ABVP leading in two seats each.

NSUI’s Sunny Chillar and Akash Choudhary were leading in the counting for the president and secretary’s posts respectively when the counting was stopped.

Earlier in the day, the NSUI fought back to take the lead in two seats.

ABVP candidates for the posts of vice-president, secretary and joint secretary were leading when counting of votes was stopped due to technical issue in the EVMs after 11 am before it resumed again around noon when the NSUI candidate for the secretary’s post overtook his rival.

As many as 1.35 lakh students voted on Wednesday to decide the fate of 23 candidates in the DUSU elections, counting for which began this morning.

RSS affiliate ABVP and the Congress’ students’ wing NSUI are the main contenders like every other year.

But throwing a stiff challenge to them this time is the new alliance between All India Students’ Association, a far-Left organisation, and the Aam Aadmi Party’s students’ wing Chhatra Yuva Sangharsh Samiti.

The elections went off peacefully on Wednesday with a turnout of around 44.46% — slightly more than 43 % recorded last year.

Read: Sanitary pads, Rs 10 thali and sports push among Delhi University poll promises

First Published: Sep 13, 2018 12:12 IST