New Delhi: The National Students Union of India (NSUI) on Monday complained of opacity and malfunctioning of Electronic Voting Machines (EVM) during the recently concluded Delhi University Students Union (DUSU) elections, in which they managed to secure only one seat, that of Joint Secretary, out of four.
A delegation of NSUI comprising Oscar Fernandes, Member of Parliament (MP); K. C. Mittal, Secretary of All India Congress Committee (AICC); Amrita Dhawan, National President, NSUI, along with several lawyers approached the Grievance Redressal Committee and presented their demands which included recounting of votes and video recording of the counting of votes.
“On the day when the election was announced, we met the Election Commission and asked for cameras to be installed during the counting process so that transparency is ensured… The counting was happening on twelve different tables, how is one candidate supposed to see all the tables simultaneously? It took only 45 minutes for the counting of 140 machines. There is something amiss in the entire process,” Amrita Dhawan said before the grievance committee.
She also raised the issue of faulty EVMs at several colleges where the ballot ‘5’ (NSUI’s ballot) was “unpressable”, and in one case votes that were supposed to go to NSUI went to ABVP (Akhil Bhartiya Vidyarthi Parishad), the party which won the other three seats.
“In Lakshmi Bai college, ballot no 5 for President post was not pressable because of glue. In KMC, 5 was not pressable and when students raised it with the teachers, they were asked to press any other button that was pressable. In Aurobindo College, for anyone pressing ballot no 5, the light for ballot 1 was blinking,” Dhawan said.
“Several calls were made to 100 regarding these issues. When it was raised with the Chief Election Officer, he messaged saying ‘issue resolved’. The very fact that he said the issue has been resolved acknowledges the existence of the problems to begin with,” Dhawan added.
The delegation also demanded the number of votes polled per voting machine as secured by each candidate be made available to them and that no office-bearer takes charge of the DUSU office until the issue is resolved.
NSUI has also refused to file the details of the expenses incurred by it during the campaign, which each party is required to file within two days of the announcement of the results.
The results of the yearly DUSU elections were declared on Friday; according to which ABVP bagged three seats, those of President, Vice President and General Secretary. NSUI, after a drought of two years managed to win one seat this year.