Maharaja Agrasen votes for DUSU-linked college union

Giving a push to ABVP-led Delhi University Students Union’s expansion plans, Maharaja Agrasen College voted for having a DUSU-affiliated student body. Over 65 per cent of the students turned out to participate in the Tuesday referendum held by college.

Earlier, in the run up to the popular vote, high-voltage drama had ensued with College Principal Sunil Sondhi writing to Delhi Commission for Women chief Swati Maliwal, complaining against Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) leaders forcing their way into the girls’ hostel.

Loud celebrations broke out outside the college premises, as DUSU officer bearers claimed that they won an “absolute majority,” required for bringing the institution under the DUSU fold.

According to the college administration, out of 13,055 students, 935 voted in favour of seeking DUSU affiliation, while 310 students voted against the proposed and 110 votes were found invalid. The college has around 2,050 students.

 “This is a dance of democracy,” a college teacher said. Students have so far enjoyed say in the college functioning through Academic Council and Cultural Council, which have students picked by teachers.

“Students have passed a resolution in favour of having a college union affiliated to DUSU. This resolution will now have to be sent to the Vice Chancellor, who is also the DUSU patron. Once he accepts the resolution, the college will be able to hold students union elections and send two representatives to the DUSU’s central council,” ABVP Delhi State Secretary Saket Bahuguna told Deccan Herald.

He said the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh-affiliated organisation is planning to demand similar referendum in Acharya Narendra Dev College, Bhaskraycharya College of Applied Sciences and Daulat Ram College. So far, only 46 of the over 60 undergraduate colleges are affiliated to DUSU.

“Having a union means grand college fests and of course, more say in the college functioning,” Anmol, a college student, said. But “MAC Parliament”, a Facebook page comprising of over 500 college students, that advocated against seeking DUSU affiliation in a post says, “A first year student writes: Students from St Stephen’s and Lady Shri Ram College for Women, who have their separate college unions, seem to be quite satisfied with the system of college union in place.”

Even as ABVP claims that they demanded a referendum after students from the college approached them, the college administration has alleged that its leaders created a ruckus on campus.

“It was seen that few students entered the girls’ hostel premises and disturbed the environment. Some residents of the girl’s hostel also have submitted their complaint,” Principal Sunil Sondhi said in his letter to the DCW chief. ABVP leaders, however, denied the allegation.

“We never misbehaved with anyone. It’s a false complaint by those supporting the principal,” DUSU president Satender Awana said.

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