Results of the CDC Referendum- A sliver of hope
by Aneesh Sriram (UG '25)
As a sliver of hope to the Student Government of Ashoka, the New Constitution draft was passed in an overwhelming majority by the student body through the referendum. The Election Commission released the results remarking that it was a ‘pleasure to announce that the referendum has passed’. With a voter turnout of 1012, 955 were in favor of the constitution.
The Election Commissioner, Rudransh Mukherjee stated in the mail “I thank the student body for their overwhelming response, a first step to a reignited political scene at Ashoka.” It is indeed true that this is a new awakening for a new, participative and engaging Ashoka political scene.
In light of this, it is crucial to note the role played by the CDC and Leher representatives to mobilize students to vote for the constitution over the course of the week. From 4-6 PM, everyday, from the 7th of November till the 13th, CDC members, and volunteers from Leher were in front of the mess lawns actively lobbying passersby to exercise their right to vote. From the election data accessed by The Edict, it is clear that during these times of campaigning, voter response was higher. While ost of the votes themselves fell on the 8th, Tuesday, the highest percentage of votes between 4-6 PM came primarily from Wednesday the 9th.
The role of the CDC and the members of Leher must also be taken into consideration to turn the tide of voter turnout and tip the scales of the referendum itself. In light of this, we must ask, how many of the voters persuaded by the Leher had awareness about the new constitution at all? Did votes come in due to the active campaigning of the CDC and not because individuals were actually conscious about active political participation? The data given is in favor of the questions. Out of the people who voted between 4-6, how many actually knew what they were voting for, how many were influenced by the Leher? The Edict posed these questions to the party, to better understand the impact that they had on the outcome of the referendum.
In a statement drafted by Leher as a response to the questions, it was mentioned that “It would be impossible to give an exact number of students that members of Leher interacted with (or that interacted with our content), however most students that were members spoke with were aware of the new constitution and the voting for it.”
To respond to the concern of the motive behind the votes of students, the reply given was that “Given the state of political participation within campus right now we felt it was our duty as a political party to help promote the referendum and if our work (or that of the SG’s) directly encouraged people to vote then we’re glad to have assisted in their decision making.”
Finally, to account for the spike of votes between 4 and 6PM, the party underlines that “Again it would be far too presumptuous for us to assume either the number of individuals influenced by Leher but the party did its utmost to ensure that all individuals that we spoke with had as much information as they needed to make an informed choice …All members that were in front of the mess ensured that they were aware of all details of the constitution and were regularly answering questions posed by individuals approaching the board.”
Nevertheless, two steps forward and one step behind is still a step forward. One can only hope that Leher’s efforts to ensure the passing of the referendum, and the adoption of the new Constitution will result in a reinvigorated political passion among the students.