Dhruvi Shah disqualified from 2024 general election

Mashru on international students’ rep ballot unopposed

Dhruvi Shah, candidate for international students’ representative, was disqualified from the 2024 UMSU general election.

A complaint filed by candidate Krupa Mashru against Shah that led to her disqualification alleges that students associated with Shah’s campaign put a sticker over the image of opponent Mashru on a poster in University Centre. Shah confirmed that the incident was true when she took to Instagram to announce her disqualification.

Shah wrote that she was present during the incident but claimed it occurred “without [her] knowledge.”

“I had no intention nor idea of the situation,” she wrote.

Although the complaint was originally filed on Feb. 28, this election’s chief returning officer (CRO), Jodie Smith, reopened the case “due to new evidence from security.”

Shah also said in her post that she asked the CRO for further evidence that could corroborate her non-involvement.

Smith declined a request for an interview from the Manitoban.

Vice-chair of the elections appeal committee Rohan Sethi said further evidence from security services was given to Smith last Wednesday. She then continued to to “proceed with that complaint” and disqualify Shah.

Sethi said the decision to disqualify her could not be reversed through the appeal process because Shah’s disqualification occurred within 24 hours of the election, but “she still had the opportunity to appeal for the purposes of clearing her name.”

Sethi confirmed that Shah submitted an appeal of the decision on March 7.

The appeal committee sat last Wednesday at 5 p.m. to decide on Shah’s appeal, and found that the evidence brought before it indicated Shah’s responsibility for the actors that vandalized Mashru’s poster. The committee dismissed Shah’s appeal, and Smith’s decision to disqualify Shah was upheld, said Sethi.

The ruling of the CRO said “defacing a poster in this manner is a form of attack that is not acceptable for any student leader.”

In the decision, Smith also said this was not the first incident where one of Mashru’s campaign posters was defaced.

“While I was not able to link the other incidents directly to Dhruvi’s volunteers, I find there is a pattern of targeting Krupa by people who support Dhruvi,” the ruling read.

The Manitoban attempted to reach Shah for additional comment on her disqualification but was unable.

By the time the election period ended, Mashru was on the ballot unopposed.