New Delhi: At 2.30 pm on Wednesday, the Chief Electoral Officer came out of the counting center to announce the results for the election to the Delhi University Student Union. For candidates and their camps, it had been a roller-coaster of emotions till then, and it was not about to be over soon.
The Congress student wing, National Students’ Union of India (NSUI), had won the president and vice-president’s posts while the BJP-backed Akhil Bhartiya Vidhyarthi Parishad (ABVP) had to settle for the secretary and joint secretary posts.
It was a nail-biting finish to what was once being seen as a one-sided battle in favour of the ABVP.
Initial trends had showed that the Parishad was leading comfortably in all the four seats. Cadres were upbeat. ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai’ chants rang out in the air.
NSUI activists, however, were still hopeful. “Abhi North Campus ke vote nahi gine. (Votes from North Campus have not been counted yet),” said a party activist confident of wiping out the deficit.
And sure enough, after counting of 11 rounds of votes was finished and it was looked like the ABVP would sail to a fifth consecutive victory, the balance of the election shifted completely.
The NSUI was now leading on three out of the four seats.
The mood in DU’s North Campus shifted suddenly. The NSUI camp, which had remained silent for the first few hours of the day, broke out into a massive cheer. “Aayi Aayi, NSUI! (Here comes the NSUI!),” they shouted.
They even used the tune from the song ‘We Will Rock You’ by the band Queen to fashion a song for their presidential candidate Rocky Tuseed. “We love, We love, Rocky!” became their anthem.
The see-saw battle was clearly getting reflected in the mood swings in the camps.
The cheering from the NSUI camp got louder as top ABVP leaders, standing in the shade just a few meters away, went into a huddle. As morning turned to afternoon, the crowds started to swell. The official declaration had not even been made but the dancing and fireworks had already started.
When Tuseed, the newly elected DUSU president, walked out of the counting center waving the victory sign, cops opened the barricade and a swarm of NSUI supporters ran towards him.
However, when the electoral officer announced that both parties had won two seats each, chants of ‘DU jeet gaye hain hum’ (We have won DU) quickly turned into confusion.
Avinash Yadav, the NSUI’s candidate for joint secretary, claimed he had been leading till the last moment. NSUI alleged cameras were switched off while the counting for the joint secretary and secretary posts were still on.
NSUI would not settle for a tie.
“We will go to court. They have stolen the joint secretary post from us. This was actually a clean sweep,” said NSUI spokesperson Neeraj Mishra.
That would be another battle – to be fought in a court of law. For now, it was time to celebrate.
In the true DU tradition NSUI carried its winning candidates on the shoulders to the Faculty of Arts. Their first stop - the Swami Vivekanand Statue in North Campus.