Millennium Post

Student groups trump DU to start poll campaign in advance

New Delhi: Two weeks before it goes to polls, the Delhi University (DU) campus announces the upcoming event in an utterly brash way, with its roads littered and walls defaced with thousands of posters bearing oddly spelt names.
The unabashed canvassing comes despite the law in place that prohibits candidates from using any printed material and use of spray or paints for canvassing for the election. However, the university authorities are having a hard time reining in the violators, because technically they are not running afoul of the election guidelines, they concede.
Using an ingenious idea of misspelling their names, certain individuals who could possibly be formal candidates from the two parties -- the Congress-affiliated National Students' Union of India (NSUI) and the RSS-affiliated Akhil Bhartiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP)-- have set their campaigning activities in motion even before the campaigning is officially announced by the election office.
The "trick" of adulterating names with motley alphabets will help the "vandals" remain off the election office hook in case they are formally chosen by their parties to contest the election on September 6.
On the other hand, with the thin subterfuge, these persons have afforded themselves ample space, and time, for their familiarisation with the students.
Expectedly, the posters and painted graffiti bearing these names are not being owned up by the members of the two principal parties, which insist that these are just the "supporters" who put them up.
The election office also expressed its inability in bringing the errant parties to book on technical grounds.
"We do not recognise parties unlike the Election Commission, which does it. We at least need a name to whom we can serve the show-cause notice. As of now, it's a law and order problem since these are mere names of persons, not contenders," S.B. Babbar, the Chief Election Officer for the Students' Union election, told IANS.
"The proctor knows about it. We have directed the police officials to take appropriate action against them... Unless the candidates are announced, it remains a law and order issue, but once it happens, we can even disqualify them if they are found to be not following the rules," he added.
A senior police official told IANS that a complaint was lodged with them by the university Proctor and appropriate action would be taken against against those indulging in vandalisation of university properties.
The filing of nominations by candidates will be announced on September 6 and the election for the Delhi University Students' Union will be held on September 12.
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