United Left wins all four seats in JNUSU polls; ABVP stands second

United Left candidate Geeta Kumari won the president’s post by defeating Nidhi Tripathi of ABVP by 464 votes.

delhi Updated: Sep 10, 2017 22:40 IST
A Mariyam Alavi
A Mariyam Alavi
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Students and supporters shout slogans during the DUSU elections Counting 2017 at JNU Campus in New Delhi on Saturday.(Arun Sharma/HT Photo)

The United Left alliance won all the four central panel posts at the Jawaharlal Nehru University Students Union (JNUSU) election, vindicating their poll slogan “JNU lal hain; lal rahega” (JNU is Red, will stay Red), even as ABVP managed to come a distant second.

Around 2:30 am on Sunday, the JNUSU Election Committee announced that Geeta Kumari, Simone Zoya Khan, Duggirala Srikrishna, Shubhanshu Singh, all of the Left alliance, had been elected to the posts of president, vice president, general secretary and joint secretary.

The United Left is an alliance of the All India Students Association (AISA), Students Federation of India (SFI) and the Democratic Students Front (DSF), all students’ wings of Left political parties, while Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) is their counterpart from the Hindu-nationalist outfit RSS.

The Birsa Ambedkar Phule Students’ Association (BAPSA), an association of students from backward and neglected communities, trailed at the third position.

For long, JNU students’ union has been a bastion of the Left-wing parties. Since 2014, when Narendra Modi-led BJP stormed to power at the Centre, the Left has been involved in a tussle with the rising forces of ABVP.

ABVP had managed to get a seat in the central panel in 2015 when Saurabh Sharma was named the joint secretary in 2015, but it lost out last year when AISA-SFI coalition swept the polls.

In this year’s election, a total of 4,639 votes were cast on Friday, marking a 58.69% turnout, which was marginally lower than the previous year’s over 59%. Of these, 4,620, were counted as valid.

Srikrishna, the new general secretary-elect, received the most votes and also maintained the highest margin. With 2,082 votes, he was 1,107 votes ahead of the runner-up, ABVP’s Nikunj Makwana.

The “tightest” race was for the president’s post, where Kumari breezed towards a comfortable win with 1,506 votes over ABVP’s Nidhi Tripathi, who trailed her by 464 votes.

The results of the councillor seats for various schools were announced on Saturday, with the Left unity winning big in humanities schools.

They won all five seats at the School of Language, Literature and Culture Studies (SLL&CS) and four of the five seats at the School of Social Sciences (SSS) and the School of International Studies (SIS).

A Bhagat Singh Ambedkar Students’ Organisation (BASO)-backed candidate, Chepal Sherpa, claimed one seat at the SSS and an independent candidate, Prahlad Kumar Singh, won a seat at the SIS.

While humanities and social sciences schools voted for the Left, the science schools leaned towards the right and voted big for ABVP. Two of the three councillor seats at the School of Environmental Sciences (SES), all three councillor seats at the School of Computer and System Sciences (SC&SS) and School of Life Sciences (SLS) each, the one seat at the School of Physical Sciences (SPS) were won by candidates whom the ABVP claimed to back.

The Left had seemed almost sure of victory by late night on Saturday, as the slogan “JNU Lal Hain; Lal Rahega” erupted at many places in the campus.

First Published: Sep 10, 2017 07:51 IST