Dipu Shaw and Gargi Nim
Photo:Gargi Nim

Mehendi, chocolates and bananas…these were the newest ploys to woo voters in this year’s Delhi University Student Union elections that took place yesterday.

The Supreme Court may have ordered to implement the Lyngdoh Committee’s recommendations for the conduct of student unions, but the Delhi University Student Union elections this year saw flouting of rules and ethics.

The Lyngdoh Commission, which has framed guidelines for the conduct of student union elections in its recommendations, had mentioned that political parties must not play any role in student union elections and had set the maximum expenditure of each candidate for the elections to Rs 5000. However, for the cub politicians of Delhi University, rules are meant to be broken.

The student election of one of the premier universities of the country is always a watch out zone for the mainstream political parties of the country. This year, the major student parties employed some interesting tactics in their election campaigns. The National Students Union of India, the student wing of Congress called mehendi walas in Shyam Lal College to decorate the palms of the prospective voters. They distributed chocolates and bananas to woo their voters besides taking the students for a movie at the Cross River Mall in Karkardooma in East Delhi.

“We spent Rs 30,000 in booking the tickets in the hall. About 350 to 400 students turned up for the movie Bachna Ae Hasino in the hall”, said Uttam Kumar, a second year student of B Sc Physical Science in Shyam Lal College who was also campaigning for NSUI in the elections.

Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad, the student wing of the Bharatiya Janta Party took the students on a spree to the Fun ‘N’ Food Village in Gurgaon and organized DJ parties at different locations outside various colleges of the University.

However, some college authorities made sure that the Supreme Court ruling about student elections is strictly adhered to. Dr. A.P. Raste, principal of Deshbandhu College in South Campus made prior arrangements to see that guidelines are followed, at least by candidates from his college. He gave a strict warning to the candidates against DJ parties and extra expenditure in the elections

“We had to be contained with hand made pamphlets and posters. That too, they could not be stuck everywhere in the college. One wall was allotted for the sticking of posters and we had to be satisfied with it”, said Amit Patel, General Secretary, NSUI, of Mehrauli district. He and his fellow candidates feared that their nomination would be cancelled and had no option.

Even the campaigners for DUSU elections had a tough time in Shyam Lal College, otherwise known for fistfights and flouting rules. Only 10 students with their Identity Cards were allowed inside the college for campaigning with the DUSU candidate.

If principals of other colleges too adopt Deshbandhu College’s example, student elections of one of India’s premier universities can be much smoother.