DUSU elections: ABVP wants practical poll reforms

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New Delhi, Sep 2 (PTI): Blamed for defacing the city with posters in the run-up to Delhi University students’ polls this month, the RSS-affiliated ABVP on Saturday pitched for reforms in Lyngdoh Committee recommendations to avoid “impracticality”. The demand for reforms was put forth as the BJP’s student body felt the committee’s recommendations in confining the election process to 10 days was “impractical” considering the number of voters and colleges which are affiliated to Delhi University Students Union (DUSU). DUSU elections will be held on September 12.

“In the present scenario, posters are the only way a candidate can reach out to over a lakh students of 51 colleges spread across the city in a short time alloted for campaigning,” ABVP national media convener Saket Bahuguna said, adding that a consensus was needed from all stakeholders on reducing reliance on paper. “DUSU is a large election and there cannot be one-size-fits-all approach confining elections to just 10 days,” he said. The body also said it was also urging DU election authorities to allocate separate “democracy walls” in colleges as space for putting up posters. “Allocate a separate wall and we will ensure none put up posters across the city,” Bahuguna added, saying that reaching out to large number of students without using posters was not possible.

He also termed Rs 5,000 cap on poll expenditure as “impractical” as it was too less to contest in elections of on a large scale. “Even to campaign on single autorickshaw in all the colleges would cost much more than Rs 5,000,” he said, adding that social media would be able to help reduce reliance on posters in future though not immediately. He also suggested presidential-style debates like the ones that happen in JNU before its polls. “There should be presidential debates conducted online as holding it directly would not be feasible considering the scale of students who would attend the event,” Bahuguna said. Attacking Congress-led NSUI for hurling corruption allegations against ABVP, Bahuguna said it was a “lie” and “manipulation of facts”. “DU administration should audit DUSU funds and bring it in public domain to know the real picture,” he said. ABVP will release its poll manifesto on Monday.

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