Jawaharlal Nehru University was drowned in the cries of 'Naxalbari' and 'Lal Salaam' as ultra-Left body AISA swept the student union polls today, winning all four office bearers' posts as well as majority of councillors' seat to the body.
All India Students Association's Sucheta De won the president's post by a historic margin, trumping her closest rival Zico Dasgupta of CPI-M-linked Students Federation of India (SFI) by 1,251 votes.
De, a PhD student, secured a whopping 2,102 votes against SFI-AISF combine's Dasgupta's 751 votes.
AISA retained its complete hold on the students panel as the other three posts too fell into its pocket by lesser but convincing margins. The runner up candidates in all four categories were SFI students.
While Abhishek Kumar Yadav defeated Anagha Ingole by 640 votes to become Vice President, Ravi Prakash Singh won against his nearest Durgesh Kumar Tripathi by 919 votes to become the General Secretary, and Mohammad Firoz Ahamed won the joint secretary's post by 579 votes against Mohammad Altamash.
The majority of the councillors' seats were also won by the AISA, 16 of whose candidates booked seats in the body.
"This is a mandate against the establishment, against corruption, against AFSPA and against SEZs," said Sucheta De, reacting to the victory.
"This is about offering a credible alternative to the opportunistic policies of the Left parties like SFI," she said pointing out that the new union will continue its fight against the Lyngdoh committee recommendations, and reducing the weightage of viva marks will be among its main demands.
The supporters of AISA were in celebration mode since the morning as the margin of its candidates kept getting wider, but there was dejection in the SFI camp.
"It is of course a huge mandate. It will take some time to analyse and understand. We did not anticipate or expect this," said Roshan Kishore, state secretary of SFI.
Cries of 'Naxalbari Naxalbari' and 'Comrades ko lal salaam' rent the air with drum beats as the celebrations kept getting louder. With the official announcement of the winners by JNUSU Election Committee chairperson Prabodhan Arvind at 12:45 pm, the celebrations reached a crescendo and the winners were taken out in a procession throughout the campus.
"SFI ko bhoot banaye (We made a ghost out of SFI)," shouted elated AISA workers as they marched in the boisterous procession.