JNU election panel rejects application for opinion polls

New Delhi: The election panel for JNU student union polls has rejected an application by a student to conduct opinion polls in the varsity. Ankit Hans, a student of economics at JNU, was trying to conduct the opinion poll, seeking a sample size of 500 by polling at different parts of the 1,000-acre campus.

“The election committee has rejected the application to conduct opinion polls during the period when model code of conduct is in force,” Ishita Mana, Chief Election Commissioner for JNUSU polls, said in response to the application. “The publication of result of any public opinion polls or exit polls is likely to affect the unbiased exercise,” she added.

Hans, an engineer from IIT-Roorkee, was one of the three ABVP office-bearers who had quit the party in February this year expressing disappointment over the outfit’s handling of the sedition row on campus. While no opinion polls have been conducted before JNUSU elections in the varsity’s history, the Lyngdoh Committee recommendations that apply to student elections in India do not mention any regulation about opinion polls.

The polling for the keenly contested elections will be held on September 9 and the counting of votes will begin the same night. The candidates will take out a torchlight march on Monday night and highlight their agendas for the upcoming polls.

Besides the routine campaigning, candidates in JNU are also supposed to make speeches about their agenda followed by a round of questions at the “presidential debate”. This time, it will be held on September 7. The night-long event, conducted in the style of US presidential debate, is a sought after affair and also a deciding factor for the students’ union elections.