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Rebels set up big fight for RU Student Union election for presidential post

The students’ election for the presidential post at University of Rajasthan, the state’s largest in terms of enrolment, is set be a keen contest this year

jaipur Updated: Aug 24, 2017 20:33 IST
Salik Ahmad
Salik Ahmad
Hindustan Times
Rajasthan News,University of Rajasthan,Student Union
ABVP faces challenge from a rebel while NSUI dissident candidate banks on his Jat identity to emerge a dark horse.(HT Photo)

The students’ election for the presidential post at University of Rajasthan, the state’s largest in terms of enrolment, is set be a keen contest this year.

Although last-night shift of votes is said to determine poll outcomes, political equations are volatile on the campus for the August 28 elections.

The post of president received 18 nominations on Wednesday, but nine withdrew on Thursday. Going by the mood on the campus, it appears that three major candidates are locked in a big fight, though a rebel candidate may emerge a dark horse.

The three main contenders are Sanjay Macheri of RSS-affiliate Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP), Pawan Yadav, an ABVP rebel candidate, and Deepak Meena of Congress’ student wing National Students’ Union of India (NSUI).

Ticket to Macheri led to resentment among some ABVP members who felt that Yadav was more deserving. As the rumour goes, Macheri got the ticket due to pressure from a BJP bigwig. Akhilesh Pareek, who contested unsuccessfully for the university president post on an ABVP ticket last year, has thrown his weight behind Yadav.

Macheri is a Rajput and unlikely to get the votes of Jat students who number 6,000-7,000 in the university. Jats and Rajputs have a long-standing political rivalry that stems from the latter’s long rule in the state despite the numerical strength of the former.

Yadav, who has the reputation of a committed and hard-working student leader, has alleged that his modest background came in the way of getting the ABVP ticket. He has drawn sympathy of many students after ticket denial.

Success of NSUI’s Deepak Meena largely depends on how many Meena votes (roughly 6,000) swing in his favour. Also, the anti-incumbency sentiment among students, directed at the BJP government, might translate into votes for the NSUI.

NSUI rebel candidate Rahul Bhakar could be a dark horse. Though he does not seem to have much support in the university, his Jat identity might prove to be a turning point. The university has had four Jat presidents since 2013.

“If Jats decide to support Bhakar one night before the polls, he might outdo the other three contestants,” said Pankaj, an MSc (environmental science) student.

For the post of general secretary, eight candidates in the fray but the fight appears to be between NSUI’s Manvendra Budania and ABVP’s Rakesh Yadav.

The counting will be held on September 4.

First Published: Aug 24, 2017 20:33 IST