New Delhi: Over 36 percent of students exercised their franchise on Friday in the keenly contested Delhi University Students' Union (DUSU) polls with the voting percentage recording a dip of over 7 percent from last year's overall turnout of 43.3 percent.
Meanwhile, the students' council elections also took place in 44 colleges where Congress-affiliated National Students Union of India (NSUI) won the five-member panels in 33 colleges while the BJP's student wing Akhil Bhartiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) emerged victorious in 11 colleges.
While DUSU is the representative body of the students from most colleges and faculties of the varsity, colleges have their individual students' councils.
The Chief Election Officer for DUSU elections, D S Rawat, said the voting went off peacefully with 35.89 per cent of students casting their vote in the morning leg of polls.
"The polling which was conducted in two phases went off smoothly. The maximum turnout of 91 per cent was recorded at the Ayurvedic and Unani Tibbia College and the minimum was in Campus Law Centre II at 6.79 per cent," he said.
"Minor technical glitches were reported in Aurobindo College in the morning phase but was rectified within a few minutes," he added.
The counting of votes will be taken up tomorrow after which the results will be declared.
"The university had deployed a team of observers who visited the 51 centres where the polling took place in teams of two to check violations of the code of conduct.
"DU administration had also installed CCTV cameras, besides hiring commercial videographers, to record election activities to ensure free and fair polling," Rawat said.
According to a senior police official, the polling went off peacefully and no incidents of violence were reported.
"A huge contingent of police was deployed at various polling centres of the university to ensure that no untoward incident takes place.
"The movement of vehicles was also restricted on Chatra Marg in North Campus to avoid any chaos or discomfort to students. The polling was peaceful," the official added.
While four colleges didn't conduct their students' union polls, many students kept away from the DUSU central panel polls.
The student outfits attributed the low turnout to the new policy of allowing only those students to vote who took admission and paid their fees by August 31.
Some students were also turned away by colleges from the voting counters as they did not have ID cards.
Polling began in morning colleges from 8.30 am and concluded by 12.30 pm, while the students of evening colleges can cast their votes from 3 pm to 7 pm.
While the political slugfest at DU has over the decades been between NSUI and ABVP, Left-affiliated All India Students Association (AISA) is vying for the central panel posts with a series of campaigns done by the outfit in recent months to thwart alleged attempts of attacks on university campuses across the country.
Last year, ABVP had swept all four seats trouncing NSUI and AAP's Chhatra Yuva Sangharsh Samiti (CYSS). The AAP's student wing is not contesting the polls this year.
A total of 17 candidates are in the fray for the four posts of DUSU office-bearers.
While seven candidates are in the race for the post of President, 4 nominations have been validated for the post of Vice-President. With a total of 1,23,246 voters, polling is taking place at 117 booths in 51 colleges.