With Delhi University students set to go to the polls on September 12, to elect their next student representatives, the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) and All India Students Association (AISA) released their election manifesto on Tuesday.
Congress’ student wing, the National Students Union of India (NSUI), had released their manifesto ahead of the others earlier last month.
With all three manifestos in, the run-up to the elections has gained momentum. Here is a look at how the three manifestoes address different campus issues:
BEYOND ACCOMMODATION, TRANSPORT
All three seem to have a few common demands, which figure every year — transportation and accommodation for students.
The next big ticket item, seems to be women’s safety on campus. AISA has called for a sexual harassment committee. ABVP have added that they would train female students in self-defence. NSUI has said they would ensure there is “no moral policing or curbs on women’s freedom.”
In addition to this, ABVP’s main demands include more effective central placement cell at the DU, instruction in Hindi medium, a full-fledged 24-hour health centre on campus and compact campuses in the south and north.
The ABVP is also asking for better implementation of choice-based credit system, evening classes in every college to increase seats, clean toilets in colleges and water coolers on Chhatra Marg. They have echoed NSUI’s stance on fee structures and have said they would make it more “equitable and logical”.
AISA has asked for protection of students from north-east, more participation of students in decision making and reforms in the DUSU election system.
NSUI has also spoken of students from north-east, however, their USP this time is greater transparency in the DUSU budget expenditures, and promise to upload the entire budget and bills online.
IS ABVP THE ONE TO BEAT?:
The Left-wing AISA seems to be mainly fighting on the issues of violence on campus, especially targeting the ABVP. The first line in their manifesto urges students to “vote against reign of terror unleashed by ABVP in DU.”
Kawalpreet Kaur, the DU head of AISA, said the election would be “a referendum on violence,” and that it was mainly a battle between the ABVP and AISA.
The NSUI hardly ever featured in the AISA’s agenda, and they conceded to as much. “NSUI as such does not have a presence in colleges (anymore),” said Kaur.
She also added, in light of the recent events at Ramjas College and the raging debate over nationalism, NSUI’s ‘silence’ on the matter may also hurt them.
With the central theme of “Take Back DU,” the NSUI, however, seems to be planning to reclaim their glory days and have been dismissive of AISA in the past. “The manifesto is not the place to attack ABVP. In the campaign we have taken up ABVP, their ideologies, the way they propagate violence in the name of nationalism fairly and squarely,” said Ruchi Gupta, the national incharge of NSUI.