Why is AAP's rock concert at DU a problem? Explained

While the concert received support from celebrities and students, rival groups of the CYSS didn’t take too kindly
Why is AAP's rock concert at DU a problem? Explained
Why is AAP's rock concert at DU a problem? Explained
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By Kedar Nagarajan

This Monday the Aam Admi Party’s student wing Chatra Yuva Sangrash Samiti (CYSS), organised a rock concert featuring artist and vocal supporter of the party Vishal Dadlani, playback singer Shilpa Rao, MTV Roadies host Raghu Ram and several other figures popular among the youth of this country in an attempt to woo student voters ahead of the Delhi University Student Union elections. 

The large-scale rock concert titled ‘DU Rocks’ was held at New Delhi’s Talkatora stadium. The Akhil Bharatiya Vidhyarthi Parishad (BJP backed) and the National Students Union of India (Congress backed) have dominated the elections in DU for a long time now. Last year however, the All India Students Union made the contest a tripolar one. 

With the victory of the Aam Admi Party in Delhi this year, the increase in the presence of its student wing was also seen across DU.

The event was one for which a lot of money was spent. A student at DU said “students who approached the CYSS were given four to five free passes for the concert, all we had to do was give our contact details.” 

Both Arvind Kejriwal and Manish Sissodia attended the event and even made grand promises to the students ahead of the September 11th elections. Arvind Kejriwal, at the event, promised the students that should the CYSS come in to power at DU they would facilitate an education loan scheme and free WiFi in DU.

While the concert received a great deal of support from several celebrities and students alike, the rival groups of the CYSS didn’t take too kindly to the concert. The leader of the NSUI and Delhi Congress chief Ajay Maken issued a complaint stating that the activities of the CYSS were setting the wrong precedent. They alleged that the CYSS had violated a clause from the Lyngdoh Committee recommendations that explicitly states that student parties could not receive funds from any sources apart from voluntary contributions.

Further allegations by the Delhi leader have also stated that the concert cost no less than Rs 50 lakh and that a great deal of money had also been spent on outdoor media advertisements. 

The Lyngdoh committee also prohibits students from using any printed material or posters to advertise for the election campaign. Tehelka recently published a report where a student of the All India Students Union (CPI (ML) backed student wing) alleged that CYSS had also displayed survey polls on bus stops, billboards and across the Delhi University campus. 

The DU Election Commission has said that it is keeping a track of all activities and that it will wait for candidature to be finalised on the 4th of September. The Commission also stated that it can cancel the candidature if documented proof of Lyndoh committee violations are submitted. 

The AAP over the past couple of months has been facing heat over increased expenditure on information and publicity. Media reports from early August pointed out that the AAP had increased advertisement related expenditure to 526 crores when their expenditure on the same the previous year was merely 24 crores. 

This fact too, was brought to light by Ajay Maken and criticised heavily by former AAP member Prashant Bhushan. The former member, saying that it was in contempt of court, also slammed a 70 second long radio ad that promoted the AAP’s increase in the budget for education and healthcare in the state.

The AAP came in to power and earned popularity by slamming initiatives of this kind by other parties and corporations. Political opponents have made it a point to call the AAP out on the same. With the lists for candidature being finalised at DU tomorrow, it remains to be seen whether any action will be taken against the CYSS for this hike in expenditure on their campaign.

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