DU discards name changing game for students’ union polls
Those contesting Delhi University Students’ Union (DUSU) polls will not be allowed to prefix letter “A” to their names in order to be elevated in the list of candidates, as the varsity has decided to do away with the contentious provision from this year.
“Only the name which has been registered with the university at the time of admission will be considered for contesting polls. Even if there is a request for change of name, it will be processed only after September 30,” Chief Election Officer for the DUSU polls D S Rawat said.
In order to get desirable ballot numbers, the DUSU poll candidates often used to change their names before the election and add prefixes such as A, AA or .AA.
However, last year the All India Students’ Association (AISA) had challenged the prevalent practice in Delhi High Court.
It had contended that it was a belief that a large number of voters not committed to any particular contesting candidate but nevertheless exercising their voting right, vote in favour of the candidate whose name appears first on the ballot paper without even bothering to go through all the names.
Current DUSU president Mohit Nagar, an ABVP nominee had last year filed his nomination as “AAA Mohit Nagar” and NSUI candidate Gaurav Tushir had filed the nomination as “AA Gaurav Tushir”.
Subsequently, Gaurav and Mohit were allotted ballot numbers 1 and 2 respectively.
The Delhi high court had in November last year observed that the practice of candidates adding the alphabet “A” before their names prior to DUSU polls to get themselves listed at the top of the ballot paper “is flawed” and had asked the university to take a decision regarding checking of such practice only for the purpose of elections.
“The university will issue a notification soon announcing that the name change process is on hold till September 30,” Rawat added.