|(Second from left) Delhi chief minister Sheila Dikshit, Rahul and Sonia Gandhi join hands with NSUI candidates after their victory outside 10 Janpath on Saturday. Picture by Prem Singh
New Delhi, Sept. 15: The Congress’s student wing NSUI swept the Delhi University elections held yesterday, winning all three top posts.
The party, which had taken these elections seriously and asked several senior leaders to campaign for the NSUI, could not hide its glee at wresting the union back from the BJP-affiliated ABVP after two years.
“Despite adverse circumstances and wild allegations levelled by the BJP against the Congress and the PM, the result of the DUSU elections reflects the mood of the country. It shows that the youth are not against the Congress because they understand the falsehood of the BJP propaganda,” said Congress spokesperson P.C. Chacko.
“The party recognises with gratitude the leadership given by Rahul Gandhi in this election,” he added. Rahul is the general secretary in charge of the NSUI and the Youth Congress.
While the NSUI had focused on campus issues like increase in the number of hostels, special consideration for sportspersons, cheap study material for students and subsidised metro cards, the ABVP had centred its campaign around corruption at the Centre.
The NSUI won the posts of president, vice-president and secretary in the student union elections held a day after the Centre announced the diesel price hike and the six-a-year cap on subsidised LPG cylinders. There was a tie for the joint secretary’s post.
However, the ABVP cried foul and refused to accept the result which it described as “planned”. Its activists broke through barricades and climbed gates of the election office, prompting police to crack down on them. Two candidates were among several people injured.
“They wanted to ensure that the NSUI wins. What were (Congress MP) Deepender Hooda and (Haryana chief minister) Bhupinder Hooda doing on the campus early in the morning?” asked ABVP state secretary Rohit Chahal.
The Congress, which saw the union poll as a test of the national mood ahead of the 2014 general election because students from all over the country study at Delhi University, had drafted senior party leaders as well as Youth Congress leaders into the campaign.
Oscar Fernandes, the election-in-charge, had asked party leaders to visit rural colleges in Delhi to talk to students. Bhupinder Hooda participated actively, contributing money and men for the campaign. All the NSUI candidates were students from Haryana, with the new president — Arun Hooda — even sharing the same surname as the chief minister.
“The result… shows the complete failure of the Anna Hazare movement to have a long-term effect on the psyche of the youth. Campus issues really won it for the NSUI. That’s why we won,” said Varun Chowdhry, the newly elected secretary.
Last year’s elections, held close to Anna Hazare’s agitation in the capital, had been swept by the BJP.
The winners today went to meet Rahul, who accompanied them to 10 Janpath to celebrate with Sonia Gandhi. Delhi chief minister Sheila Dikshit was also present.