The Aam Aadmi Party’s (AAP) students’ wing has decided to stay away from this year’s Delhi University Students’ Union (DUSU) polls, citing its lack of resources and incapability to fight against the alleged use of “money and muscle power” by the opposition parties. The elections this year are likely to be held during early September, though no date has been announced officially yet.
Sources in the Chatra Yuva Sangharsh Samiti (CYSS), the students’ wing, however, told The Sunday Guardian that the decision to back out of the polls was primarily because of the weak organisational structure on the ground and the lack of confidence among volunteers. “We (CYSS) have a weak organisational structure on the campus at the moment as we are a new party. We will make the organisation stronger and contest the elections next year,” a source said.
Anmol Pawar, the Delhi state secretary of CYSS, told this newspaper that the CYSS has not backed out from the elections, but is rather “boycotting the elections against the rampant use of money and muscle power” during the elections. He also expressed his anguish over the failure of the university administration to implement the Lyngdoh Committee recommendations which, while denouncing the violence during students’ union elections, also restricted the lavish spending of money in such polls.
“We will fight the elections if the Lyngdoh Committee recommendations are implemented in their true spirit. Every year, a poll body is formed, but we have never heard of any action against the alleged use of money and muscle power by the ABVP and NSUI in campus elections, even when such poll bodies are aware of what happens during elections. It is very difficult for the common students and parties like us to contest elections in such an atmosphere,” Pawar said.
Aam Aadmi Party sources, however, said that the party would campaign during the DUSU elections against the alleged use of money and muscle power by the “corrupt” parties and would encourage students to vote for the NOTA (None Of The Above) option.
Vishal Bhati, a CYSS student leader, complained about the alleged use of violence against CYSS volunteers by the ABVP and NSUI on campus. He told The Sunday Guardian, “Our volunteers are being beaten up every now and then. There have been several incidents of violence by these people who have the muscle power and when complaints are lodged, the police refuses to take any action. The authorities concerned also fail to take any action, even after the issues are brought to their cognizance.”
Professor J.M. Khurana, Dean, Students’ Welfare, Delhi University, said, “There is a poll body which is announced every year and it is the prerogative of the appointed poll body to take action against any such complaints received.”
The Aam Aadmi Party has, however, decided to contest the individual college elections and have been working on the ground to promote the party. Bhati said: “We are working to contest the college panel elections and have been getting a good response from the students. We will try to highlight the issues that are being faced by the students in their colleges and solve them if we win.”
Last year, the CYSS had contested the DUSU elections, but failed to bag any position or even a significant number of votes. All the four positions of DUSU were secured by ABVP, the students’ wing of the BJP.