Students of Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) poured in on Wednesday night for a tradition that had been missing from the campus for a long time. The second presidential debate of the year started on Wednesday night and ended the next morning.
Though the candidates focussed on national issues more, the issues affecting students at large were the ones that were hotly debated. For the SFI candidate, hostels, availability of water and the absence of remedial classes was the main issue.
"It is all very good to speak about socialist traditions and socialist theory, but when it comes to the real problems, the last AISA union did nothing," said Kopal, the SFI candidate.The candidate from the All India Students' Association (AISA), Om Prasad, meanwhile said they were the only party to be able to have a constructive dialogue with the administration despite a negative attitude towards student bodies in the whole country.
"These are not the national elections. Simple things such as the dog menace in the campus, inadequate seats in hostels and the marks allotted to viva voce are the issues that affect us," said Kanika Jha, a student of the School of Language Literature and Cultural Studies.
However, there was a disruption early on in the debate when an independent candidate, Sandeep Kumar opposed the upcoming beef and pork festival and abused the organisers. He later apologised. JNU goes to polls on Friday.