Polling for JNU student union election begins

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New Delhi, Nov 2 (UNI) Polling for the Jawaharlal Nehru University student union elections began amid tight security here this morning.

Heavy security, including personnel drawn from Delhi Police, was deployed on the campus in view of Wednesday night's clash among opposite groups when a presidential debate turned ugly following some unsavoury and disparaging remarks against Lord Rama. The clash led to a riot-like situation on the campus.

Initially, a very low turnout was being witnessed at polling booths.

Altogether 12 polling stations have been set up where 5000 electors will exercise their franchise in two phases. The first phase will be held from 0900 hrs to 1300 hrs and the second between 1430 hrs to 1730 hrs.

Thirty-six candidates are in the fray for four seats on the student body. Out of the total 36, the maximum 12 are contesting for the post of President, seven for Vice-President, nine for General Secretary and eight are testing their fortune for the post of Joint Secretary.

Another 99 candidates belonging to different groups are also in the fray for the posts of councillors at all the centres of the university.

Counting of votes will be undertaken from 2100 hrs tonight and the result will come out on November 4.

The run-up to the keenly-contested polls saw hot national issues like the Indo-US nuclear deal, OBC quota and the Nandigram issues being raked up by various student groups.

The groups in the fray -- Left-backed SFI and AISA, Congress-backed NSUI, BJP-backed ABVP which is banking on the anti-incumbency factor and independent YFE among others -- also raised the key issues of class as well as religion during the canvassing for the polls.

An estimated 420 nominations were filed for various posts, out of which 36 found a place the final list for the polls.

CPI(ML)-backed AISA had staged a comeback in the student union polls last year on two of the four central panel polls whereas CPM-backed SFI-AISF combine put another two in its kitty.

UNI

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