Thousands of Delhi University students who voted for ABVP candidate Kanika Shekhawat in the Delhi University Students’ Union (DUSU) elections received a jolt Monday when they realised that the face of the candidate they voted for and the one who came to power aren’t the same.
In the run up to the elections, posters carrying Shekhawat’s name urging students to vote for her were pasted across the city on flyovers, subways and metro pillars, especially near off campus colleges in east and west Delhi. The photo on the posters, however, is that of Indian model and VJ Nauheed Cyrusi.
Students who voted to make Shekhawat DUSU secretary said they felt “cheated”. “These leaders don’t usually visit off campus colleges, so the only way we know them is through posters,” said Rahul Mehra, a student from a west Delhi college.
“Maybe she didn’t think she is photogenic enough. All is fair in war and elections, I guess,” said Swati Sinha, another student.
Shekhawat, however, said she had nothing to do with the posters, and blamed her rival party, the National Student Union of India (NSUI), for the “conspiracy”. “ It has come to my notice that there are some posters of mine bearing images of Nauheed Cyrusi. I am sure this was done by the NSUI so that they could get my nomination cancelled. I have filed a complaint regarding this in the police headquarters. The fact that I have won is a tight slap on their faces,” Shekhawat said.
The NSUI denied the charges. “It is not the culture of the party to unnecessarily target candidates. ABVP has indulged in all kinds of malpractices this election season, and they should own up if their wrongdoing has been noted,” said Roji M John, NSUI national president.
A graduate in political science from Miranda College, Shekhawat is studying MA in Political Science in ARSD college, south campus. Shekhawat, who comes from Rajasthan, has been with the ABVP for the past three years, and won the election by stressing on women-centric issues within the university. “My focus will be to work on issues of women security and empowerment in the university. My immediate priorities will include reopening the women development cell in the university, and creating separate counters for girls to get bus passes,” she had said.
She defeated NSUI’s Amit Teema by 3,022 votes.