Students allege administration delaying vote counting in JNUSU elections
“It seems like the Vice chancellor himself is contesting the election here”
“Let the counting begin,” demand the students of Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), New Delhi, where the alleged interference of administration has stalled the counting of votes for the JNU Students Union (JNUSU) Election this year. Students have alleged that the administration has been interfering in the election process fearing the defeat of Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) this year as well.
The former members of the Students Union have also stated that the JNU administration has influenced the polling too by intimidating the Election Committee (EC).
With 67.9 percent voter turnout, the JNUSU election 2019 polling day, on September 6, was quite successful, wherein a total of 5,762 voters polled. “This shows the respect the student community has entrusted on the EC, despite multiple attempts by the administration to interfere and continuously influence this year's election,” said a statement issued by JNUSU.
However, after over 12 hours past the polling, the counting process is yet to begin. “The elections process has been stagnated citing concerns about the safety of ballot boxes that carry the mandate of students. Administration is trying to interfere in the counting process. Considerable time i.e. over 12 hours have elapsed since the stipulated time of commencement of counting process. The counting agents of School of Biotechnology are waiting since night,” said the statement further.
“It seems like the Vice chancellor himself is contesting the election here,” said N Sai Balaji of JNUSU while speaking with Indie Journal.
Alleging that the administration has been interfering the the election process from the polling day itself, he said, “Yesterday, the Dean of Students and Associate Deans entered the polling booth and intimidated the EC. They are trying to interfere because they want ABVP to win. They are afraid that the huge voter turnout might again lead to ABVP’s defeat this year too, which they find hard to tolerate.”
Balaji also said that the interference of the Deans in the polls is unprecedented in the JNU Poll History. “They have stalled the counting process, and they said that if EC tries to start counting, they will call the CRPF. This is an attack on the rights of the students, and we will resist it collectively,” he added.
“Last year ABVP disrupted JNUSU Election counting process for 17 hours when they sensed defeat. When ABVP’s attempts failed, JNU administration stepped in and refused to notify the hugely elected JNUSU for the full year, until the Delhi High Court compelled them to do so. This year, JNU administration has directly taken command in obstructing the poll process from the very beginning when the EC got formed through School GBMs,” said another statement released by the United Left Panel.
According to some news reports however, the votes have been counted but the declaration of the results has been stayed by the Delhi High Court until Septemper 17.