The Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) won three out of four seats in the Delhi University Students’ Union polls, namely president, vice-president and joint secretary. Congress- backed National Students’ Union of India (NSUI) bagged the post of secretary.
The counting of votes had been paused for five hours after student organizations alleged ‘faulty EVMs’. It resumed later in the evening.
Expectations were on the fight being among the ABVP, NSUI and the joint panel of the All India Students’ Association (AISA) and AAP’s Chattra Yuva Sangarsh Samiti (CYSS). However, the main competition simmered between NSUI and ABVP.
ABVP’s vote share rose to 33.04% from last year’s 30.13% ,while the NSUI’s increased from 29.04% to 29.48%.
Currently pursuing a Masters in Buddhist Studies, student Ankiv Basoya bagged the post of president with 20,467 votes, and a difference margin of over 1,744 votes from NSUI’s Sunny Chillar.
A student of Law Faculty, Shakti Singh of ABVP won the post of vice-president with the largest vote margin – 7,673, while NSUI’s Aakash Choudhary won the post of secretary with 20,198 votes.
Basoya commended the organisation’s work for the win. “Students know that NSUI didn’t do much work last year. We will provide better facilities.”
A few NSUI members alleged the loss to CYSS contesting elections, the last of which they had done in 2015. NSUI Delhi state president Akshay Lakra attributed their loss to issues in the EVMs.
NDTV reported that the EVMs had not been issued by the Election Commission of India but rather ‘privately’.
“…I am directed to inform that the EVMs in question are not of Election Commission as no such EVMs have been allotted/issued to DU by this office,” Delhi chief electoral officer Manoj Kumar said in a statement late on Thursday. “It seems that the DU (Delhi University) has procured these machines privately,” he said.
At noon time, NSUI stated that one of the EVMs showed a ballot number that did not have any candidate. After violence erupted, counting was stopped until 5.30 pm.
Political parties also issued statements on the EVM malfunction. AAP leader Gopal Rai said, “We have seen this (EVM tampering) earlier as well. This situation not only raises concern, but is also a serious threat to democracy.”