New Delhi, Sept 10: For the second time in a row, BJP's student wing ABVP rode on its anti-corruption plank to make a near sweep in Delhi University's student union elections, winning three of the four seats but lost out the prestigious presidential post to Congress' student group NSUI.
In a performance somewhat similar to last year, candidates supported by the Akhil Bhartiya Vidyarthi Parishad pipped representatives of the National Students Union of India in three seats - vice president, secretary and joint secretary.
However, unlike last year, when the top three posts were won by ABVP, the presidential post this time was bagged by Ajay Chhikara of the Law Centre, who polled 11164 votes to defeat his nearest rival ABVP's Nehas Singh by a margin of over 2300 votes.
The ABVP, which had made graft and its support to the Anna Hazare campaign one of its main issues, was quick to declare the verdict as a mandate against corruption and against the state and Central governments. “Of course this is a vote against the Congress and against corruption. This is a display of the students' anger.
Moreover, it shows they were happy by the work of the last union dominated by the ABVP representatives,” said ABVP state secretary Rohit Chahal.
Allegations of “irregularities” in voting too flew thick, with the ABVP activists claiming “manipulation” was a reason why they lost out the main post.
“We are planning to lodge a complaint because we doubt how the morning colleges saw 30 per cent of votes being polled despite rain wrecking havoc in the capital. We believe there were irregularities,” said Sanjay Verma, ABVP media coordinator.
The NSUI, which had been at pains to shrug off the Anna Hazare effect on the campaign all along, said whatever the result it was pleased to win the presidential post after three years.
“Ajay's victory by a convincing margin shows the trust of students. Despite all their propaganda, the ABVP could not win the most prestigious post,” said Shahnawaz Khan of the NSUI.
While Vikas Choudhary defeated Bhupendra Choudhary by a margin of 3780 votes to bag the the vice presidential seat, Vikas Yadav defeated Parag Sharma by a margin of 2350 votes to become the secretary.
Deepak Bansal of the Department of Buddhist Studies too won by an over 2000 vote margin against Ashish Chaudhary of the Law Centre for the seat of joint secretary.
However, surrounded by representatives of the other group in the students panel, Chhikara would run the risk of becoming an equivalent of a ‘lame-duck' president though candidates from both sides discounted this possibility, pledging to work in cooperation with each other.
Saffron dominated the campus as the election result was announced around 1 pm with ABVP candidates being carried by jubilant supporters, waving saffron flags, in a victory procession that ended at the landmark Vivekananda statue in Arts Faculty.
The mood was jubilant in the ABVP camp and slogans like ‘Pichli baar bhi jeete the, abki bar bhi jeete hain' and ‘Desh ke dallalon ko, joote maro salon ko' rent the air. The mood was more somber in the NSUI camp which failed to make a bigger impact, doing only marginally better than last year.
The union this year will be an all-male panel after a gap of a few years, with no woman candidate making it to the final four.
Besides, the other student groups, mostly of the Left, again failed to make much impact in Delhi University where election was once again a two-way contest between ABVP and NSUI. PTI