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Counting of votes for JNUSU polls underway

Counting of votes for JNUSU polls underway

(Eds: Adding details) New Delhi, Sep 7 (PTI) The counting of votes for the Jawaharlal Nehru University Students' Union (JNUSU) polls began on Saturday after an 11-hour delay due to a deadlock between the students and the administration, the varsity's Election Committee said.Students' bodies, however, claimed the counting began around 4 pm.Outgoing JNUSU president N Sai Balaji claimed that even though the counting was supposed to begin at 12 noon but the Grievance Redressal Cell (GRC), that comprises varsity officials, interfered in the process.However, a varsity official said, "There was no interference from our side. Last night, the GRC had gone to meet EC members and the parties to discuss about the court order but there was no interference."After the Delhi High Court on Friday restrained the JNU from notifying the election results till September 17, it was decided at a meeting between the students-run Election Committee (EC) and all the parties around 10 pm to go ahead with the counting, it said.The results are likely to be finalised on Sunday but they will be announced after the HC hearing on September 17. Till 8 pm on Saturday, 150 ballots were counted.The process of counting ballots began at 11:55 pm on Friday, JNU EC chairman Shashank Patel said.However, it had to be put on hold due to a deadlock between the student community and the JNU's GRC over the latter's demand that the counting agents give a written undertaking stating they would not disclose the results, he said."The EC tried its best to convince the GRC to change its stand based on the demands of the student community," Patel said, adding that the deadlock led to an 11-hour delay in the counting process.When a consensus could not be reached even after so many hours, the EC decided to resume the counting of votes anyway with declaration of trends, the EC chairman said.The result, however, will be put on hold, he added.The JNUSU polls, held on Friday, witnessed a 67.9 per cent voter turnout, believed to be the highest in seven years.Earlier, the results were supposed to be declared on Sunday.The high court order restraining the university from declaring the results came on pleas by two students alleging that their nominations for election of councillor in the JNUSU were illegally rejected. PTI SLB NIT SOMSOM