There’s always the net

Contestants for DUSU elections are making use of social networking sites and blogs to campaign online

entertainment Updated: Sep 01, 2010 01:32 IST
Hindustan Times

Campaigning for Delhi University Students Union (DUSU) elections, which will take place this Friday, is going without the pomp and show. No wannabe politician is perched on a swanky looking SUV. No drums and music are being played around the campus. Instead the parties, especially the two major parties - National Students’ Union of India (NSUI) and Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) - have taken campaigning to online medium where they are making use of social networking websites and blogs to campaign.

ABVP has dedicated an entire team of its members for online campaigning. Ashutosh Srivastava, spokesperson ABVP, says, “We are doing online campaigning this year so that we can abide by the Lyngdoh Committee and not spend more than R 5000 per candidate. We’re using Facebook and Orkut and also leaving messages on Twitter. This helps as many students are not coming to colleges due to DUTA strikes that are on, and we can’t go and meet them personally. It also enables us to get feedback from students.”

Bharat Kumar, All India Secretary, NSUI, says, “Most DU colleges have communities on social networking sites. So apart from posting messages on our own homepage and community we post messages on these college communities and groups creating awareness and urging them to vote. Sending SMSes to students for voting is also cost efficient and has become an important medium in campaigning.”

What is Lyngdoh Committee?

It was appointed by the government in 2005 under the chairmanship of the former Chief Election Commissioner of India, James Michael Lyngdoh, to frame the guidelines on Students’ Union elections in Colleges/Universities as per the directions issued by the Supreme Court of India. Some of the guildelines are that the maximum expenditure per candidate cannnot exceed R 5,000, and that the candidate should have a minimum percentage attendance as prescribed the university.

First Published: Aug 31, 2010 16:47 IST