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First DUSU Presidential Debate; Authorities cry foul

In a first in the DUSU Elections, the candidates vying for the post of ‘President’, will battle it out in a war of words, on the 9th of September, wednesday i.e. tomorrow, at Conference Room, Press Club of India at 6 pm. The move is said to be inspired by Jawaharlal Nehru University, where Presidential Debates, based on the US Presidential Elections format, mark an important event prior to the d-day. However, authorities at DU, overseeing the elections, have termed the move as a ‘violation’ of rules, and aren’t thrilled to hear about the developments.

The event has been organised by DU Beat (an independent student run campus newspaper) and Newslaundry, an independent news media and media critic platform. The event will see the presidential candidates of the four big parties – ABVP, CYSS, AISA, NSUI putting forth their ideologies and agendas to students and trying to woo as many votes as possible. The Debate is open to anyone who wishes to attend, and one only has to register prior to going, and will also be streamed live on the Youtube Channel of DU Beat.


The official poster for the DUSU Presidential Debate. (Image Source: DU Beat)

According to DU Beat’s website, “The aim of the Debate is to allow DU students to make informed choices in forming their union by choosing representatives they can hold accountable later. The debate will be conducted in a structured manner, with limited speaking time per candidate, followed by a question-answer round. To keep things fair, the debate will be conducted by an unbiased presenter, Mr. Abhinandan Sekhri from Newslaundry, he has also volunteered with India Against Corruption in the past. “

The DU authorities on the other hand say that here is no such provision in the DUSU Constitution for the same. The University also denies any official knowledge to the same. “I haven’t got any information about the event yet. It will be a violation of the university norms if they conduct the same. As per the rules, not more than four people can campaign at the same time in the university…if any such debate is conducted there will be a huge gathering. We can’t permit that,” Chief Election Commissioner for DUSU polls, DS Rawat said. Rawat also added, “Over 60 FIRs have already been registered against those defacing walls despite the varsity norms permitting just handmade posters in an allocated area.”

The elections are scheduled for September 11 and the counting of votes will take place the next day. The candidates will be required to stop the campaigning by 5 pm on September 9 and authorities are expected to serve notices those violating the poll norms during the process. You can read about the major promises made by different student bodies here.

(Image Source)

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