DUSU election 2018: NSUI alleges rigging after counting suspended over EVM malfunction

New Delhi: Counting of votes in the high-stakes Delhi University Students’ Union (DUSU) elections was suspended by the Delhi University administration after protests erupted over EVM malfunctioning with the NSUI and the ABVP 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.

After the counting was suspended, the Congress’ students’ wing National Students’ Union of India (NSUI) – whose candidates for the president and secretary’s posts were leading – responded with sharp reactions.

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’

  • “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 said.

ABVP blames NSUI

  • ABVP’s candidate for the DUSU vice president’s post, Shakti Singh has 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.

ABVP, NSUI create ruckus

  • 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 with both the NSUI and the ABVP leading in two seats each.
  • 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.

Earlier in the day, the NSUI fought back to take the lead in two seats.

ABVP candidates for the posts of vice-president, secretary and joint secretary were leading when counting of votes was stopped due to technical issue in the EVMs after 11 am before it resumed again around noon when the NSUI candidate for the secretary’s post overtook his rival.

As many as 1.35 lakh students voted on Wednesday to decide the fate of 23 candidates in the DUSU elections, counting for which began this morning. RSS affiliate ABVP and the Congress’ students’ wing NSUI are the main contenders like every other year.

But throwing a stiff challenge to them this time is the new alliance between All India Students’ Association, a far-Left organisation, and the Aam Aadmi Party’s students’ wing Chhatra Yuva Sangharsh Samiti.

The elections went off peacefully on Wednesday with a turnout of around 44.46% — slightly more than 43 % recorded last year.

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