Shifting focus from money and muscle power,  the National Students’ Union of India (NSUI) will put in more efforts towards a social media policy in the upcoming Delhi University Students’ Union (DUSU) elections and has no plans to turn the polls into a Congress versus Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) fight. NSUI’s national president Fairoz Khan said that there will be a “change in the character” of DUSU elections this year.

Speaking to The Sunday Guardian, Khan said, “Nobody will get free movie tickets or amusement park trips for their votes. You will see the change this year.”

Talking about the extravagant nature of DUSU elections, Khan said, “Students’ elections should not indulge in such appeasment tactics. However, the concept of nationalism on which the ABVP has been thriving is not right either.” 

Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) is the students’ union wing of the RSS, while NSUI is affiliated to the Congress.

Last year, the DUSU elections had become a major battleground, with Congress and BJP senior leaders campaigning on the campus. Denying reports of senior Congress leaders overlooking the campaigning strategy of the university elections, Khan said, “We do not want to make this election a Congress versus BJP fight. It is a university election and students are fully capable of managing it. ”

For the last four years, ABVP has maintained its hold over DUSU. Last year, the ABVP won the posts of president, vice-president and secretary of DUSU. NSUI managed to make a comeback in the students’ body by winning only one post of joint secretary after a dry spell of three years.  

Speaking about NSUI’s social media campaign, Khan said, “We do not need to outsource our social media campaigning activities to an agency because we have our own robust cell that is working proactively.”

NSUI has appointed campus co-coordinators in every college and has started WhatsApp and Facebook groups to reach out to students. 

Khan, who was appointed general secretary of NSUI in 2012, hails from Pogal Paristan, Jammu and Kashmir, and will be fighting his first election after becoming the national president of NSUI. Among NSUI’s major campaign promises is to bring transparency in use of DUSU budget. Charging ABVP of misuse of funds, Khan said, “We wish to give power to the students in choosing where they want the money to be spent. We intend to put bills online to ensure transparency.”

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