Campaigning for Delhi University Students’ Union polls is no longer restricted to visiting colleges, putting up banners and distributing pamphlets.
This year, the two leading parties — National Students’ Union of India (NSUI) and Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) — are trying new means to attract voters.
NSUI, for instance, has turned to the entertainment industry to glam up their campaign. The party, which had invited singer Mohit Chauhan, actor Mahima Chaudhary and cricketer Virender Sehwag for a ‘freshers’ party last month, has now roped in Bhojpuri actor Ravi Kishan as their “campaign ‘icon’.
“Ravi Kishan was in the city for some other event. We have requested him to help us promote our candidates,” NSUI spokesperson Sanjay Poddar said. Kishan, along with DU’s NSUI candidates, will be addressing the media on Wednesday.
ABVP, on the other hand, has turned to political leaders, though they have been maintaining that the political parties have nothing to do with the university elections.
In fact, to promote their candidates, ABVP has used Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi and Swami Vivekananda’s images on their social media platforms.
One of its posters has Narendra Modi occupying half the space, while the four DUSU candidates asking for votes to “Lead for Change” have been pushed to the other side. Another poster that states “Indian youth are the new power” has large cutouts of Modi and Vivekananda occupying nearly three-fourth of the canvas.
According to ABVP members, the decision to use Modi’s pictures during DUSU campaigns was taken because of the popularity the senior BJP leader’s enjoys among the youth.
“A large section of the youth across the country, and especially in Delhi University, admire Narendra Modi. We admire him and Swami Vivekananda,” ABVP spokesperson Saket Bahugana said.
ABVP seems to be following the footsteps of Left-leaning organisations by raking up the issue of the four-year programme. The manifesto released by ABVP on Tuesday said “students have been harassed in the name of the FYUP (four-year undergraduate programme)”. Criticising the NSUI-led DUSU for not raising concerns regarding the programme in the last few months, ABVP demanded “an immediate rollback of FYUP”.