Delhi University Elections

Sept 8th, 2011

Delhi University: It’s student government election season! I was delighted to find daily coverage of the Delhi University elections in the City section of the Hindustani Times. Can you imagine if the city of Eugene covered ASUO elections? Delhi Uni has about 500,000 students, constituting 52 colleges. Campaigns here are big–very big. There are political parties, such as the National Students Union of India (NSUI) and Akhil Bharatiya Vidhayrthi Parishad (ABVP). My understanding is that these parties are student versions of the main regional parties. Cool!

Every campaign must adhere to the recently instituted spending cap of Rs. 5,000, about $125. It is unbelievable that this shoestring budget is possible! (An average ASUO campaign costs between $3-5,000.) Instead of using shiny printed posters, campaigns are saving money with handmade posters, which cover almost every available wall of the university. “We have about 60 volunteers who are making posters. We have so far made 8,000 pamphlets and about 8,000 posters,” reports a NSUI campaigner. T-shirts are also used to promote campaign brands. Facebook, Twitter and blogs are a must to appear professional and, of course, to show off how many followers they have.

Campaigns also employ celebrity twitter endorsements from Bollywood actors and MPs (members of Parliament).  Awesome!

Campaigns are no longer allowed to use printed posters, stickers, loudspeakers or animals (lolz). Out of 41 total candidates, 14 are presidential candidates. The polls open tomorrow. May the best campaign win!

An ABVP rally (www.du.ac.in)

Sept 11 Update: Here is the khus winner of the Presidential race, NSUI candidate Ajay Chikara, while the three other posts were swept by the ABVP Party. This is the first time that ABVP has not one the Presidential seat in the last four years.

(Photo:Sandeep Saxena)