In a major comeback, the Congress’ student wing NSUI on Wednesday bagged the posts of President and Vice President in the Delhi University Students Union (DUSU) while the RSS-affiliated ABVP won the posts of Secretary and Joint Secretary. Officials had earlier said the NSUI bagged three seats.National Students Union of India (NSUI)’s Rocky Tuseed is the new DUSU President and Kunal Sehrawat the Vice President.
ABVP’s Mahamedhaa Nagar and Uma Shankar won the posts of Secretary and Joint Secretary respectively. The NSUI has demanded recounting of the votes for the Joint Secretary post, which it claims its candidate had won. Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi, who is abroad, congratulated the NSUI and thanked the students for reposing their faith in the party.
“Congratulations NSUI on a stellar performance and President win in DUSU. (I) Thank students of DU for reposing faith in the Congress ideology,” he tweeted. Congress leader Randeep Singh Surjewala said the “resounding victory of NSUI is a rejection of false promises of ‘Acche Din’ of Modiji”.Congress leader Shashi Tharoor tweeted his congratulations. “Congratulations @nsui on an outstanding performance in #DUSUelection2017. A triumph for liberal values on campus. Proud of you!”
Senior lawyer and Swaraj Abhiyan founder-member Prashant Bhushan also congratulated “DUSU for booting out ABVP goons”. “After losses in JNU, Guwahati University, Panjab University, it’s clear that students are rejecting ABVP,” he tweeted.
Tuseed, who polled 16,299 votes, defeated ABVP’s Rajat Chaudhary by 1,590 votes. Sehrawat, with 16,431 votes, scraped past ABVP’s Parth Rana by just 175 votes. Nagar polled 17,156 votes to win by 2,624 votes while Shankar got 16,691 votes — winning by 342 votes.
The NSUI was earlier on could nine when it thought it had bagged three seats including President, Vice President and the Joint Secretary. Even senior Congress leaders like Ajay Maken and Sharmistha Mukherjee congratulated it for winning three of the four seats. But it was later announced that the Joint Secretary post had been won by ABVP. The NSUI alleged that the “HRD Ministry and the RSS (Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh) were pressuring DU administration to manipulate the results”.
“We will approach the Grievance Cell now for the recounting,” NSUI’s Avinash Yadav, who lost the Joint Secretary seat told IANS.
He said senior ABVP leaders were present inside during the counting and the screen showing the video of the counting process went blank for as long as 30 seconds pointing to some irregularities. Chief Election Officer S. B. Babbar, however, said there were no lapses in the counting as “DU is the only university which uses EVMs”.
“He (Avinash Yadav) is crying foul because he lost with a close margin. And as for lapses in video, they were no longer than couple of seconds.” “There were no ABVP leaders inside, nor from NSUI, only the candidates,” Babbar told IANS.
Asked about the low margin of his victory, Vice President-elect Sehrawat told IANS: “A win is a win. The margin of victory doesn’t matter.”
The results are seen as a comedown for the Akhil Bharatiya Vidhyarthi Parishad (ABVP) which had won three seats last year, while the Joint Secretary was claimed by the NSUI. The DUSU election took place on Tuesday. The CPI-ML-backed All India Students Association also contested.