Ruckus hampers DUSU poll counting

The Delhi University administration today suspended counting of votes in the high-stakes Delhi University Students’ Union (DUSU) elections , for few horus in the afternoon, following uproar over ‘faulty EVMs’. Later it was resumed in the evening. The counting resumed from 7th round. A total of 16 rounds of counting will take place.

As since more than two decades, DUSU results were indicating the fotunes of major political parties in the next general elections at national level, this year ahead of 2019 polls, the elections gained political significance. Both BJP and Congress leadership concentracted on the polls to ensure victory for their supporting candidates.

The University administration stated that they have suspended the counting process midway due to DUSU’s “faulty EVMs and the students’ uproar over it.”, ABVP secretarial candidate Sudhir Dedha has reportedly tried to enter the community hall by breaking the glass door. While the NSUI demanded a re-election, ABVP wanted counting to resume.

Violence broke out and ABVP supporters tried to forcibly enter the counting centre. At the time of suspending counting, both NSUI and ABVP candidates are leading in two seats each.  “Counting is suspended for today…. Meeting is going on. We will announce final decision by the evening,” chief election officer VK Kaul said after the administration stopped the counting.

The suspension of counting drew immediate fire from the Congress’ students’ wing National Students’ Union of India (NSUI) whose candidates for the president and secretary’s posts were leading. NSUI members staged protests outside the counting centre alleging that the administration was trying to temper the results because the ABVP was trailing in counting for the president’s post.

“NSUI was winning DUSU President and Secretary after 6 rounds. Then 6 EVMs started malfunctioning and EC wanted to set those aside. How is it that machines which were working till yesterday during polling are no longer working during counting? Clearly some sabotage to help ABVP,” said Ruchi Gupta, national in-charge of the NSUI. “At one point, votes were being displayed for Secretary post on ballot number 10. There is no ballot number 10, NOTA the last ballot was on ballot number 9,” she added.

But ABVP’s candidate for the DUSU vice president’s post, Shakti Singh accused the NSUI of creating a ruckus to force the counting’s suspension. “They wanted the counting to be stopped so they created a ruckus which forced the election officials to suspend the counting,” he said. Ahead of the suspension of the counting, members of both ABVP and NSUI created ruckus inside the counting centre. Some of them tried to jump barricades and got into arguments with officials following which counting was suspended.

NSUI’s Sunny Chillar and Akash Choudhary were leading in the counting for the president and secretary’s posts respectively when the counting was stopped. As many as 1.35 lakh students, around 44.46 per cent, voted yesterday to decide the fate of 23 candidates in the polls, counting for which began this morning.

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