ABVP wins DUSU polls, good signs for BJP in Delhi?

BJP’s students’ outfit wins three of four seats for Delhi University Students’ Union – incidentally, the same numbers as the Congress-backed NSUI in 2004 and 2008

jasleen

Jasleen Kaur | September 14, 2013



With Narendra Modi’s elevation as the party’s prime ministerial candidate out of the way, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders got another chance to greet each other with the results for the Delhi University Students Union (DUSU) elections that were declared on Saturday. The party’s student wing, the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP), bagged three of the four seats, winning the president, vice-president and joint-secretary seats, leaving only the post of the union secretary to the Congress-backed National Students' Union of India (NSUI).

The DUSU elections are seen as a sort of curtain-raiser to elections in Delhi. With the assembly elections round the corner, and the Sheila Dikshit government facing flak for corruption and rising prices, the results have come as a shot in the arm for Delhi BJP.

Incidentally, the ABVP won only one post in both 2004 and 2008 DUSU elections, with the NSUI bagging the other three, though in 2008 the BJP outfit won the president’s post. The Congress swept the Lok Sabha elections from the seven Delhi seats in both 2004 and 2009 general elections, winning six and all seven, respectively. Sheila Dikshit, too, reigned supreme with handsome majority.

Student politics may not be directly affected by what is happening at the state or national-level politics but the outcome of the students' union elections does create a positive atmosphere for the parties, as a large number of youth vote and express their preferences in these polls.

So even when the BJP was debating over if and when to announce Narendra Modi’s name as its prime ministerial candidate, ABVP’s campaign for DUSU elections prominently featured the Gujarat chief minister – the student outfit’s posters on social media announcing the names of candidates for the four DUSU posts had a photograph of Modi. It even carried the slogan - "Yes we can, yes we do" - used by Modi in his rallies.

On the Delhi University campus and outside, posters with pictures of Modi asked students to "Lead for Change" and vote ABVP in; the candidates considered him an “idol”. The fact that Modi was invited to Sri Ram College of Commerce (SRCC) and other educational institutions also shows his popularity among students.

So does it really reflect the outcome of Delhi elections due in November, or the general elections due next year?

In Delhi, the Sheila Dikshit government is facing huge criticism for the massive scam in the power sector, and for supporting private power distribution companies. At the Centre, the Congress party’s image has taken a beating due to multiple scams. According to Delhi BJP leaders, the setting has been created for the Congress’s ouster, and the DUSU election results might have added an extra bit of horse power in their race for the elections.

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