New Delhi: The JNU Election Committee panel suspended the counting of votes around 4 am after some students from the Akhil Bharti Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) broke the glass of the counting centre in the School of International Studies (SIS) and manhandled the ballot boxes.
They also roughed up at the Election Commission members. They have asked for an unconditional apology from the ABVP members. In a statement, the JNU Election Committee said it suspended the counting temporarily but refused to name the party which protested.
Amidst all this, the blame game from the students organisations have started and the environment in the campus is more sensitive than ever. The RSS-backed ABVP accused the election committee of rigging the polls in favour of Left organizations. They say that EC is guilty of breaking the seal of ballot box and starting the counting of Central Panel votes without the presence of counting agents of the candidates or candidate affiliated to ABVP. The rule requires that the candidate or their counting agent must see every paper ballot. This action by EC is illegal, mentioned ABVP in its press release. The EC panel, on the other hand, said they gave three calls, but no one from ABVP turned up so they had to begin. It also said the once counting starts, no one can enter or leave the building.
The Left-bloc, an alliance of the four left parties viz AISA, DSF, AISF, and SFI have accused ABVP of the entire chaos. In their written statement they said, “Late night on Friday, the committee made announcements, calling for candidates to send their counting agents for central panel votes from the combined schools (science schools and smaller schools). ABVP did not send counting agents even after the last call was made. Long after sealed ballot boxes were opened and counting began, ABVP demanded that its agents be allowed in, and resorted to violence. As per established norms and convention, nobody other than Election Committee members are allowed inside the counting station once the counting begins.”
Meanwhile, forces from Delhi Police and Para-military have been deployed at the main gate of the campus.
Earlier, voting was conducted on September 14 for four central seats of President, Vice-President, Member-Secretary and Joint Secretary. Along with them, polls for all the councillors seats of the respective departments were also conducted. Voter turnout was calculated around 68% — which is the highest number since 2007.