New Delhi, Sep 12 :
Thousands of students Friday voted to elect new student unions in Delhi University and the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) here.
By the end of polling, both campuses were littered with paper pamphlets and empty food packets.
Delhi University saw a respectable voter turnout, Chief Election Officer D.S. Rawat said. JNU’s voting percentage was better: 55 percent.
The Delhi University Students Union (DUSU) results will be declared Saturday and those of the JNU are expected Monday.
Over one lakh students were eligible to vote.
For DUSU, seven candidates were in the fray for the post of president, 32 for vice president, 41 for secretary and 34 for joint secretary.
Enthusiastic students stood outside every college in a bid to woo voters at the eleventh hour.
The DUSU battle is mainly between the National Students Union of India (NSUI), the student wing of the Congress, and the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP), which is allied to the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS).
In the last election, ABVP bagged the posts of president, vice president and joint secretary while the post of secretary was won by the NSUI.
“I voted for the ABVP. It worked hard to remove the FYUP (four year undergraduate programme),” Ujjwal Kumar, a first year student at Ramjas College, told IANS.
The main issues in Delhi University were hostel accommodation and safety of northeast students.
JNU used ballot papers with the option of None Of The Above (NOTA) for the first time.
There were seven candidates for the post of president, five for vice president, and five each for general secretary and joint secretary.
The JNU campus was abuzz with sloganeering, singing and dancing as each student organisation tried to get the attention of the voters.
The university has been a stronghold of the Left. Last year, the All India Students Association (AISA), affiliated to the Communist Party of India-Marxist Leninist, bagged all four posts.
Other Left groups in the fray are the Students Federation of India (SFI) and the newly formed Left Progressive Front (LPF), an alliance between the Democratic Students Federation (DSF) – breakaway from SFI – and the All India Students Federation (AISF).
“Our support is for AISA as they have always helped the students when we had problems,” Mukul Kareya, an M.Sc. student from the School of Biotechnology, told IANS.
The main issues in JNU were women’s safety, hostel accommodation, WiFi connections and medical health centres.