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Rajasthan University student union polls peaceful, only half the students turn out to vote

Voting will take place in Udaipur on September 4 and the results will be declared the same day, a higher education department spokesperson said

jaipur Updated: Aug 28, 2017 20:32 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
Rajasthan University,Students elections,Rajasthan Armed Constabulary
A candidate requests voters to cast their vote in his favour as they head to the polling station for the Rajasthan University students’ union polls in Jaipur on Monday. (AH Zaidi/HT Photo)

The polling for students’ union polls in the government universities and colleges across state concluded peacefully Monday even as the voting percentage registered a sharp dip at Rajasthan University (RU). The counting of votes will take place on September 4.

The elections to the student bodies in the universities and government colleges in the Udaipur division were postponed due to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s scheduled visit Tuesday. Voting will take place in Udaipur on September 4 and the results will be declared the same day, a higher education department spokesperson said

There was a heavy deployment of police personnel in the RU campus and its constituent colleges to ensure peaceful voting. As per the officials, about 1000 police personnel and three battalions of Rajasthan Armed Constabulary (RAC) were deployed for the smooth conduct of the democratic exercise.

The additional chief secretary, higher education, issued instructions to the respective districts’ administration to keep the ballot boxes at the treasury.

As per the officials, the voter turnout at RU this year was lower compared to last year. Of nearly 23,600 registered voters, only 51.5% came out to exercise their franchise. Last year, RU student body polls had recorded 58.8% voting. The total number of registered voters then was close to 25,000.

Students cheer on the polling day for Rajasthan University's student union elections at Maharani's College, in Jaipur, on Monday. (Himanshu Vyas/HT Photo)

Students blamed doing away of department elections from this year as one of the main reasons behind low voter turnout. “The candidates in departmental elections would cajole the students of their respective departments to come out and vote. Those who came to exercise franchise in the departmental polls would also vote in the university or college level elections leading to a better overall turnout,” said Giriraj Choudhary, who is pursuing masters degree in Museology.

Also, the elections were held on a Monday, which was preceded by an extended weekend. Sevaral outstation students had left for their respective home bty late Thursday as Friday was a holiday on account of Ganesh Chaturthi. Light rains on Monday also played spoilsport.

All through the day, policemen were seen in large numbers moving across the RU campus, managing crowds. The university administration had arranged e-rickshaws and mini-buses to ferry students from the main gate to the polling booths. Outside the campus, firefighters and police forces remained stationed throughout.

Police try to disperse students in Kota. (HT Photo)

Of nine student leaders contesting for the post of students’ union president in the RU, four --- Sanjay Macheri, Deepak Kumar Meena, Pawan Yadav and Rahul Bhakar --- have emerged as the frontrunners.

Deepak, the National Students’ Union of India (NSUI) candidate, has locked horns with the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad’s (ABVP) Sanjay. However, Pawan, an ABVP dissident, who entered the fray as an Independent candidate, may emerge the dark horse. Pawan enjoys the reputation of being a committed and hard working student leader, and most students feel that it was unfair on the part of the ABVP to deny him ticket. Bhakar, too, is NSUI dissident.

For the post of general secretary, NSUI’s Manvendra Budaniya seems to have an edge over ABVP’s Rakesh Yadav.

First Published: Aug 28, 2017 20:31 IST