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Election time on campus

Here’s all the buzz from DU, which is geared up for the DUSU polls.

india Updated: Sep 08, 2011 01:23 IST

Handmade posters can be seen on almost every wall in Delhi University (DU). Pamphlets and manifestoes lie scattered on the streets as supporters walk around in T-shirts of their party. Tomorrow, DU goes to polls for the Delhi University Students’ Union (DUSU), and the campus seems all excited.

“It’s maddening! All we can see around are posters and pamphlets. It’s the only political event on campus after all,” says Varsha Kapoor, a student of Hansraj College. On Wednesday, the candidates of all parties took to the streets of North and South Campus to woo potential voters. From the Vishwavidyalaya Metro Station to the most popular hang-outs on campus, posters and party workers could be seen everywhere.

“The contenders wear garlands, make promises, the crowds go crazy — it’s a mega event for us and we look forward to all the masti,” says Devansh Khanna of Khalsa College. inputs by aakriti sawhney

Poster-making competition?
As contesting parties grapple to stick to the R5,000 budget following the Lyngdoh Committee rulings, glossy, printed posters are also out! Instead, this year, the candidates are only allowed to use handmade posters. “We make about 500-700 posters each night. Since the weather is rainy, there is a lot of damage,” says Tanvi Yadav, a member of Students Federation of India-All India Students’ Federation (SFI-AISF), who is making posters for the candidates. “We will be making 7,000-8,000 handmade posters by the end of the campaign,” says Ajay Kumar, who is fighting the elections for the post of joint secretary from the alliance. “We have about 60 volunteers who are making posters. We have so far made 80,000 pamphlets and about 8,000 posters,” says Amrita Dhawan, national general secretary of National Students Union of India (NSUI). The party has also come up with posters with caricatures of the candidates. “We have made four caricature posters each for the 52 colleges,” she adds. “Our wing in Jawaharlal Nehru University is mainly where the posters are made. We have about 10 teams working on the campaign process, of which poster-making is a big part,” says Shreerang Kulkarni, national secretary of the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP). “Like last year, we will be making about 2,000 posters. We are a group of 15 students who sit together to make the posters,” says Gayatri Dikshit, President of the JNU ABVP unit.

Your guide to the elections
Number of overall candidates for all the posts: 41
Number of presidential candidates: 14
Main parties contending: ABVP, NSUI, SFI-AISF
Date of elections: September 9
Banned this year: Use of printed posters, stickers, animals and loudspeakers
Trend of the year: Posters with caricatures of candidates

Socially active candidates
Twitter, Facebook and even blogs have become campaigning tools for contesting parties such as ABVP and NSUI. There are about 391 followers of NSUI on Twitter, where there are regular updates about the candidates and where they’re campaigning. The official fan page of ABVP has around 1,000 ‘likes’. It has profiles of the candidates and regularly uploads photos of campaigning. The party also has its blog that is constantly updated.