Replicating BJP’s approach to reach the maximum voters, its affiliate ABVP deployed volunteers on the pattern of ‘Panna Pramukh’ in the just-held Delhi University Students Union (DUSU) elections.
Like the BJP, ABVP also replaced manifesto with the ‘vision document’.
In the last Lok Sabha elections, the BJP had adopted a new strategy of appointing ‘Panna Pramukhs’ where each ‘prabhari’ (in-charge) was given responsibility for a ‘panna’ (page). The prabhari’s job was to make sure that he targets the names on the page. Usually, a page has about 30 to 35 names.
Even though the ABVP hasn’t officially subscribed to this expression, their method of functioning was similar to it in the DUSU elections held on Thursday.
The ABVP appointed class in-charge for each course of all 51 DUSU-affiliated colleges.
According to ABVP state secretary Siddharth Yadav, the step was aimed at helping his organization understand better the issues and challenges of every student in DU.
He told IANS that the class volunteers were asked to make lists of ABVP supporters, those who supported other groups and those who were neutral.
Priority was to improve voter turnout and later the target was to bring votes for ABVP, he said.
“We don’t want to be a student wing where the leaders do not know issues of students,” Mr Yadav said.
The ABVP was at the receiving end due to criticism after last year’s fake degree case, where its presidential candidate was found to have submitted a forged degree to obtain admissions in DU.
Despite this, Yadav believes the outgoing DUSU, dominated by ABVP, had managed to work hard and earned ABVP a good name among students.
“Our president was disqualified, but then the rest of the DUSU and especially Shakti Singh, who was promoted from vice president to president, managed to reach students and stand up for their issues. This has earned good name for us,” the ABVP leader said.
Apart from this, ABVP had also made sure that it replaced election manifesto with the ‘vision document’, which was prepared after consultation with students of DU. In the vision document issued by ABVP this year, it showcased a three-year plan called ‘Vision 2022’, more like the BJP at the national level.
The issues that the student body focused on included building better infrastructure and improving ranking of DU by 2022, the year when DU celebrates its 100 years.