New Delhi: Chants of "azaadi" and beats of traditional daflis marked the polling day at Jawaharlal Nehru University which recorded a voter turnout of over 59 per cent in its students union polls, up by around 6 per cent from last year.
A turnout of 53.3 per cent was recorded last year in the JNUSU polls which are being closely watched this year in the aftermath of the recent controversies which surrounded the campus.
"The poll process went off peacefully. The voter turnout was 59.6 per cent. While 8600 students were registered on the electoral rolls, the total number of votes polled was 4481," said Ishita Mana, Chief Election Commissioner for JNUSU polls.
The voting, which began on a slow note in the first half of the day, gained momentum post lunch as students queued up to cast their ballot.
More campaigners were spotted outside polling booths than voters. Shouting of slogans, display of handmade posters and distribution of pamphlets marked the occassion. Students were seen dancing to the beats of traditional dafli (small drum).
Two representatives of the Visually Challenged Students Forum in JNU, assisted the visually impaired students as they cast their ballot using an interactive HTML portal, which was introduced last year.
The counting of votes will begin amid security tonight after 9 PM and results are expected to come on September 11.
A total of 18 candidates are testing their electoral fortunes for the Central Panel and 79 are in fray for the post of councillors.
The JNUSU polls, a keenly fought contest, have been hogging more limelight this year against the backdrop of the February 9 event during which "anti-national" slogans were allegedly raised. The incident had led to the arrest of outgoing JNUSU president Kanhaiya Kumar and two others. (More) PTI