Banking on work during Covid, mobilising first-time voters: How ABVP pulled off DUSU win

From ensuring that it remained active around the year to capitalising on first-time voters’ zeal to cast their maiden ballot after a gap of four years, the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad’s (ABVP) victory in the Delhi University Students Union (DUSU) elections is a combination of various factors.

They were also lent a helping hand by a specially constituted team of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha (BJYM) leaders, which comprised experienced hands who have cut their teeth on the city’s political mainstream to those who are still making their way up its hierarchy from beginnings rooted in the varsity’s campus.

“There was a team of around 16 leaders – both experienced and new – deputed to help strategise and assist the ABVP in the DUSU polls given the fact that this is the last ‘election’ that the city will witness before the Lok Sabha polls next year. We just wanted to ensure that a pro-BJP atmosphere begins taking shape in the capital,” a senior Delhi BJP leader said.

According to party insiders, the team was led by newly appointed Delhi BJP general secretary Yogendra Chandolia and included former Delhi BJP secretary and ex-DUSU joint secretary Gaurav Khari, Bijwasan councillor and former DUSU president Jaivir Singh Rana among others.

Over the last 20 days, while Delhi BJP office bearers appointed to its mandals or wards were asked to reach out to DU students in their respective areas, those associated with the BJYM were tasked with reaching out to those part of the varsity across coaching and student residential hubs from Kingsway Camp and Maurice Nagar in the North to areas such as Shanti Niketan and Amar Colony in the South.

The brief, according to insiders, however, was not to canvass for the ABVP, but to mainly request students to come out and exercise their franchise.

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“The ABVP is an organisation that remains active throughout the year and not just around the elections; it was not only with the students in the run-up to the polls, but has been standing shoulder to shoulder with them since Covid when it worked very hard to provide aid and relief to them,” Khari told The Indian Express.

“In addition to organisational strength, what ensured the sheer margin of our victory on the seats we won was the simple fact that we made voters aware of the power of their franchise. Since the polls were happening after three years, a majority of them are first-timer voters irrespective of which year they are in. We just requested them to come out and vote if only for the experience,” he added.

Delhi BJP president Virendra Sachdeva welcomed the result, stating that it was indicative of the mood of the youth of the country, demonstrating that it stands with the “nationalistic forces which ABVP represents.” “The youth have once again demonstrated that nation’s security and progress are first and primary for them as they are for Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government,” Sachdeva said.

Get more updates on Delhi News Today. Also get Latest News Updates on G20 India Summit at The Indian Express.

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