An energetic campaign by the Congress’s National Students Union of India (NSUI), helmed by Kanhaiya Kumar, failed to change the status quo at India’s largest elected students’ union at Delhi University.
The NSUI won the vice-president’s post while the RSS-backed Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) bagged the other three main posts, keeping the score 3-1 as it has been in the Delhi University Students’ Union (DUSU) elections since 2018.
These were the first elections after the pandemic — during which political activity on campus had come to a standstill. This was also the first time Kanhaiya, a former president of the Jawaharlal NehruUniversity Students’ Union from the CPI-backed All India Students’ Federation (AISF), had managed polls at DU.
ABVP’s Tushar Dedha, Aprajita and Sachin Baisla were elected president, secretary and joint secretary, trouncing their NSUI rivals. NSUI’s Abhi Dahiya beat the ABVP to be elected vice-president.
CPIML-Liberation’s All India Students Association (AISA), which had come third in all posts for more than a decade, this time faced a challenge from the SFI, which came third in the polls to the secretary’s post. They were in close contest with the NOTA option. Jannayak Janta Party’s Indian National Students Organisation (INSO) came fifth in all posts.
The turnout of 42 per cent was marginally higher than 39.9 per cent in 2019. There are nearly 1.3 lakh eligible voters. The Chhatra Yuva Sangharsh Samiti of Delhi’s ruling AAP did not contest this time.
Kanhaiya had told reporters last week: “We aren’t fighting the ABVP. We are fighting Rajni Abbi (DU proctor and former Delhi mayor of the BJP). At every step, our candidates are harassed.”