New Delhi: Delhi University authorities are gearing up to ensure smooth conduct of the September 12 students union polls for which campaigning process has intensified.
"With the nomination process coming to an end, we have started making the arrangements for the EVMs. DU is the only Indian university to use electronic voting machines for student elections," DU Faculty and Chief Election Commissioner D S Rawat said.
The practice of videography of polling centres as well as surrounding areas has also been strengthened this time with a committee in place which will be ensuring zone wise videography, the CEC said.
"We have directed installation of more CCTV cameras as well as commercial videographers will be hired to record the election activities," he added.
Various student groups declared their candidates for the four crucial posts on Friday, for the keenly contested polls.
The Congress-affiliated National Students Union of India (NSUI) has fielded Gaurav Tushir, a first year student of Motilal Nehru College for the post of President, Mona Chaudhury of Law faculty as the Vice Presidential candidate, Amit Singh Timma and Abhishek Chaudhury of Faculty of Arts for the post of Secretary and Joint Secretary respectively.
BJP's Akhil Bhartiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) has declared Mohit Nagar and Parvesh Malik of Buddhist Studies as their presidential and vice presidential candidates.
The candidature of Parvesh Malik has attracted objection from the authorities as well as other organisations, in the backdrop of a case pending against him.
He was booked along with 14 others for his alleged involvement in a group clash at the fest of a DU college in February last year.
"He has been served with a show cause notice and police have been approached as well to check the facts and status of the complaint. If his candidature is not found in compliance with the rules, it will be canceled," Rawat said.
Those nominated by ABVP for the post of Secretary and Joint Secretary are Kanika Shekhawat of ARSD College and Ashutosh Mathur of Zakir Hussain College.
While ABVP is trying to encash on the scrapping of Four Year Undergraduate programme (FYUP), which was on its agenda for the last year's DUSU polls, NSUI is raising issues of right to accommodation and alleged racial discrimination against the students from the Northeast.
"We are hoping to win all four seats," said Rohit Chahal, National Secretary, ABVP. The Left-leaning All India Students Association (AISA) has also nominated its candidates.
"The fight for DUSU polls has always been between NSUI and ABVP. But this time the electoral battle is going to be different," said Sunny Kumar of AISA.
Interestingly, the Students' Federation of India (SFI), Arunachal Students' Federation (ASF) and All India Democratic Students Organisation (AIDSO) have come together this time to form an alliance called Left Students' Front (LSF).
Another new entrant in the poll fray is Chanakya Parishad.
"While the nomination process concluded on September 3, the candidates could withdraw their nominations till Friday. One student's candidature was canceled and overall 115 chose to withdraw their nominations," Rawat said.
After the withdrawal and scrutiny of nominations, there are seven candidates in the fray for the post of President, six for Vice President, eight for the post of Secretary and seven for Joint Secretary.
Polling will take in two phases (morning and evening) on September 12 followed by counting of votes on September 13 after which results will be announced.
DUSU is the representative body of the students from most colleges and faculties of the university. The polls have been keenly contested over decades and have also been a stepping stone to party politics for some prominent leaders.
Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, senior Congress leader Ajay Maken, Delhi BJP president Satish Upadhyay, BJP leader Vijay Goel are among the many national and state-level politicians who began their political career at DUSU.