Raining freebies for students

Raining freebies for students

The Delhi University Students’ Union (DUSU) polls are just round the corner and just as every year, parties are making all out efforts to woo students. From free movies tickets to trips to amusement parks, DJ parties and free coupons from eating outlets, it rains free gifts for the students every election.

Last year, students were also offered notepads, pens, mobile phone recharge coupons, cosmetics and other articles but movies, trips to amusement parks and DJ parties are regular trends.

At college level too, candidates organise DJ parties everywhere. The idea is to entertain students and establish the party’s name in students’ minds.

“All this is done to entertain students every year. If they will enjoy, they will definitely remember and support the party,” says Ankit Dedha, state president of National Students’ Union of India (NSUI), which recently organised a huge freshers’ party where Mika performed, followed by an exclusive dance and music party for Northeast students and a sports meet.

ABVP alleges that all this was nothing but part of poll campaigning.
Whether students remember the parties and candidates or not, they don’t mind the freebies and gifts as pre-election is the only time when they are bothered about.

Aditi Iyer, a III year student of Daulat Ram College, says, “Who minds a free movie or a free trip to an amusement park? Students just want to have a gala time free of cost. It doesn’t matter which party is offering it. That is the mentality of students.”

Divya, a second-year student of DU, says, “Parties are living in a fool’s paradise if they think that we vote on the basis of who is gifting what. It doesn’t matter at all.”

Refusing to indulge in such activities, Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) state secretary Rohit Chahal says students would vote only for a party that works for their issues and the candidate they have decided on already. “We never do anything like that. We believe in raising the students’ issues,” he says.

“Students are very aware nowadays. They enjoy the free gifts but don’t vote on the basis of that. In fact, many do not vote for anyone,” he adds.

Even though the guideline do not allow the cost of election campaigning to go beyond Rs 5000 for election campaigning, all parties flout the norm finding numerous ways.

“All parties adopt this practice. It happens through contacts and the parent party. If some leader has a cinema hall or auditorium, that is booked. We don’t spend money but instead find financers,” says spokesperson of a student union party, on the condition of anonymity. His party is to planning to take the students to Fun ‘n’ Food Village in Gurgaon this week.

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