United left front sweeps JNUSU polls
The RSS-affiliated Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) finished second in the polls for all the central panel posts, just like last year.Updated: Sep 18, 2019 01:16 IST
New Delhi A united front of four left students’ groups swept the Jawaharlal Nehru University Students Union (JNUSU) elections on Tuesday, winning the central panel posts of president, vice-president, general secretary and joint secretary, by comfortable margins. The results were announced almost 10 days after the polling, due to a Delhi High Court order.
The RSS-affiliated Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) finished second in the polls for all the central panel posts, just like last year.
This year, JNUSU elections witnessed a 67.9% turnout, a seven-year high, with as many as 5,728 students having cast their votes on September 6.
The overall vote share of United Left— an alliance of Students’ Federation of India’s (SFI), Democratic Students’ Federation’s (DSF), All India Students’ Association’s (AISA) and All India Students’ Federation’s (AISF) — was 50.1%, 5.1 percentage points higher than last year’s tally of 45%.
The united front of left parties has swept all JNUSU polls since 2016, winning all the seats, after the AISA and SFI joined hands. In 2017, DSF had also joined the group and, in 2018, AISF had joined the alliance.
The overall vote share of the ABVP was 23.24% this year, 2.1 percentage points higher than last year.
The new JNUSU panel will have SFI’s Aishe Ghosh as the president, DSF’s Saket Moon as vice-president, AISA’s Satish Chandra Yadav as the general secretary and AISF’s Mohammad Danish as the joint secretary.
Announcement of the results, around 7.30pm, brought huge cheers, with slogans and the sound of tambourines and drums enveloping the campus.
Ghosh termed the win of the alliance a “students’ mandate” against the ABVP. She promised to work on the campus issues, including hostel infrastructure. “The mandate shows that the JNU students have rejected the saffron forces and voted out the ABVP once again. We managed to get this mandate because of our efforts to fight with the administration for the rights of students’ throughout the year, unlike the ABVP, which has been supporting the destructive policies and decisions of the administration,” she said.
Sujeet Sharma, ABVP’s JNU vice-president, said, “The four left parties had to come together to get 50.1% vote while the ABVP, on its own, managed to get 23.24% votes. It clearly shows that the ABVP is now the single largest party on the campus. We will continue serving the students and win their love and support,” he said.
The Ambedkarite group — Birsa Ambedkar Phule Students’ Association (BAPSA) — which emerged as the third-largest party in the last three years, was allied with Fraternity Movement this year. The alliance gave a spirited competition on the two posts they were contesting. Their presidential candidate, Jitendra Suna, of BAPSA, secured 1,121 votes and general secretary candidate, Waseem, of Fraternity, secured 1,232 votes.
Congress-affiliated National Students’ Union of India (NSUI), which was contesting only the president’s post this year, secured 771 votes, around 300 votes more than last year. Sunny Mehta, in-charge of JNU’s NSUI unit, said, “The vote share of NSUI has increased on the presidential post. It clearly shows that the NSUI is strengthening on the campus.” The NSUI had got fewer votes than None Of The Above (NOTA) option in 2017.
The NOTA votes also considerably increased this year — with 1,927 votes, an increase of 779 votes from last year’s tally of 1,148. The highest NOTA votes, 734, were polled on the joint secretary post, for which only the left unity and the ABVP were contesting.
First Published: Sep 17, 2019 21:50 IST