Thousands of students voted on Friday to elect new office bearers of the Delhi University Students Union as well as in their respective colleges.
Hitherto, the NSUI and the ABVP, the student wings of the Congress and the RSS, respectively, used to dominate the student polls in Delhi University. But this year, the AAP's students wing, Chhatra Yuva Sangharsh Samiti (CYSS), has changed the political equation in the Delhi University Students' Union (DUSU) elections.
CYSS claimed that they were in a strong position. The AAP organised a star-studded rock concert on September 1 at the Talkatora Indoor Stadium where Kejriwal had candidly urged Delhi University students to support CYSS for its "honest and clean" politics.
"Arvind Kejriwal's wave is sweeping across the campus. He is known for his clean image and honest politics. We are sure of a glorious start in student politics," CYSS vice-president Anmol Panwar told IANS.
There are a total of 1,35,298 voters in Delhi University. Voting for the DUSU polls was scheduled in two phases at 50 polling centres set up at 42 colleges and eight departments in the varsity.
The first phase which began at 8.30 a.m. went off peacefully and polling is underway for the second phase which started at 3 p.m, the Chief Election Officer for DUSU polls, DS Rawat said.
"I am very excited as this is the first time I am going to vote in DUSU polls. Candidates from all the student outfits approached me to vote for them but I will go with the candidate who can solve the problems students face in university," Niharika, a student of BA at Hindu college, told IANS.
Rawat further said that the exact voting percentage of the first phase was being compiled.
"We cannot tell the exact polling percentage as we have received data from only 31 colleges out of 42. However, the tentative poll percentage is 45 percent," he said.
"We had deployed 23 observers to keep a tab on the elections. Videography of the DUSU polls is being done and CCTV cameras have also been set up at the polling centres to conduct the elections transparently," Rawat said.
The agents of different student outfits, backed by various political parties, tried their level best to woo the students and persuade them to vote for their candidates.
ABVP Delhi unit secretary Saket Bahuguna told IANS: "A good crowd was seen at the polling centres. We had campaigned well and reached out to the students with student-friendly issues. We hope that they must have voted for ABVP. I am confident of our victory."
A total of 35 candidates are in the fray for the four posts, including president, vice-president, secretary and joint secretary, of DUSU office-bearers. While nine of them are in the race for the post of DUSU president, eight are fighting for the vice-president's seat.