A united front of four Left student groups Sunday won all four central panel posts in Jawaharlal Nehru University Students’ Union (JNUSU) election, by defeating the RSS-affiliated ABVP with huge margins.
The Left-backed All India Students’ Association (AISA), Students’ Federation of India (SFI), Democratic Students’ Federation (DSF) and All India Students’ Federation (AISF) came together to form the ‘United Left’ alliance.According to the university election committee, the Left grouping’s presidential candidate, N Sai Balaji of the AISA, defeated Lalit Pandey of the ABVP by a margin of 1,179 votes. Balaji bagged 2,161 votes.
For the post of vice president, Sarika Chaudhary of the DSF garnered 2,692 votes and trounced ABVP candidate Geetasri Boruah by a margin of 1,680 votes. Aejaj Ahmed of the SFI polled 2,423 votes and won the post of general secretary, by defeating Ganesh Gurjar of the ABVP by 1,300 votes.
Amutha of the AISF defeated ABVP’s Venkat Choubey by 800 votes to win the post of joint secretary. Amutha bagged 2,047 votes. Balaji is a student of JNU’s School of International Studies. Chaudhary, Ahmed and Amutha belong to the School of Social Sciences.
Besides the Left bloc and the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP), which is the student wing of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), there were candidates of the Congress-affiliated NSUI (National Students’ Union of India) and the BAPSA (Birsa Ambedkar Phule Students Association), a student group advocating Dalit causes.
The voter turnout in the keenly contested JNUSU election on Friday was 67.8 per cent, believed to be the highest in six years. Over 5,000 students cast their votes.There was high drama on Saturday as counting was suspended for close to 14 hours after the ABVP staged protests claiming it was not informed about the start of the counting process.
The counting, which was suspended at 4 am, resumed at 6.30 pm after two teachers from the Grievance Redressal Cell were appointed as observers for the exercise, officials said. There have also been allegations of a “biased” election committee and violence during the election process. Last year too, the Left student groups had won all four central panel posts.