The Left Unity (AISA-SFI alliance) made a clean sweep on all the four posts of the Jawaharlal Nehru University Students Union (JNUSU) in the poll results announced late on Saturday.
The two parties — All India Students Association (AISA) and Students Federation of India (SFI) — came together in an alliance this year bagging the posts of president, vice-president, general secretary and joint secretary.
The Left alliance won despite tough competition from the two-year-old Birsa Ambedkar Phule Students Association (BAPSA) on the president’s post. Also, the ABVP which secured a seat in the central panel last year,
could not make a comeback this year.
ABVP trailed behind the Left Unity on the posts of vice-president and general secretary by a huge margin. Yet again, the Congress-backed National Students Union of India (NSUI) did not make a mark in the JNUSU polls.
Mohit Kumar Pandey of the Left Unity won the president’s post securing 1,954 votes defeating his rival Rahul Sonpimple of BAPSA by a close margin of 409 votes. The other seats went to alliance’s Amal PP (vice-president), Satarupa Chakrabarty (general secretary) and Tabrez Hasan (Joint secretary).
Amal with 2,461 votes emerged as the strongest with only ABVP’s Rajiv Ranjan Choudhary trailing him with 1,157 votes. Satarupa secured 2,424 votes. Tabrez Hasan won 1,670 votes.
All India Students Federation (AISF), to which former JNUSU president Kanhaiya Kumar belongs, offered internal support to the AISA-SFI alliance without contesting the polls.
Even as ABVP student leaders claimed that their vote share increased this year, they also lost crucial councillor seats previously held in the School of Sciences, among others.
A total of 5,297 votes were polled on Friday on the campus. The voter turnout was 59.6%, a six percent high from last year. The university has an electorate of around 9,000.
“JNU has always been politically charged. ABVP has been rejected by a major lot of students after their anti-JNU campaign and the entire February 9 sedition episode. The RSS’s high-handedness was clear even in the Rohit Vemula case,” said, Mohit Pandey of Left Unity.
BAPSA’s Rahul Sonpimple, however, said, “JNU has been a Left bastion for the last 40 years and if a two-year-old party can give them a good chase, I believe it is an achievement for us.”
The SFI is affiliated to the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M). AISA is the student wing of the Communist Party of India-Marxist-Leninist (CPI-ML).
Students’ Front for Swaraj — the student wing of Swaraj Abhiyan, AAP’s splinter group — for the first time fielded one candidate for the president’s post. The party netted 257 votes, higher than the 143 votes that the much older NSUI won.