The Supreme Court’s (SC) decision to allow elections at JNU after a four-year break was greeted by a guarded response on campus.
Student political parties, while agreeing that the SC ruling should be explored, did not come to any decision on how, when or why the elections would be held. The five student organisations — All India Students Federation (AISF), All India Students Association (AISA), National Student’s Union of India (NSUI), Democratic Students’ Union (DSU) and Students Federation of India (SFI) — maintained that no decision has been taken so far and that only an agreement reached in principle.
“We will release a joint statement to the university committee on the decision and all the points that it entails. But the parties have agreed that the verdict is something that can be explored. But we maintain that we are not happy. It is a compromise at best and we will always be against the Lyngdoh Committee recommendations,” said Sandeep Singh, national president, AISA.
The SC had in 2008 stayed elections at JNU after solicitor general Gopal Subramanium filed a petition asking why the Committee’s recommendations were not being followed.
The SC had asked the university to explain issues such as not adhering to the recommended age limit for contesting elections; candidates with criminal records and students fighting elections more than once. Elections were stayed three days after the notice was served.
In 2010, in an about-turn of sorts, the University General Body Meeting decided that a compromise could be worked out.
“The deciding body is the UGBM and its meeting will take place only in January when the students come back from vacations,” said Manoranjan Mahapatra, secretary, NSUI.