The Left retained its hold on the students’ union at Jawaharlal Nehru University after the All India Students’ Association (AISA) bagged all four top posts in the JNU Students’ Union on Sunday.
Repeating last year’s performance, AISA won the posts of JNUSU president, vice-president, general secretary and joint secretary.
While Ashutosh Kumar was elected president of JNUSU, Anant Prakash won the vice-president’s post. Chintu Kumar and Shafqat Hussain Butt were elected general secretary and joint secretary, respectively.
Attributing the result to the work done by the former students’ union, Sucheta De, AISA national president, said, “AISA’s victory in JNU is a mandate for the radical left and the year-long activism vis-a-vis politics based on lies and slander. It is an appreciation of the work done by the last union…”
Ashutosh polled 1,386 votes to defeat Rahila Perween of Left Progressive Front — a joint front of left groups All India Students’ Federation (AISF), Democratic Students’ Federation (DSF) and Students For Social Change — by 377 votes. Perween polled 1,009 votes.
Prakash, who polled 1,366 votes, defeated Mohammad Jahidul Dewan, from the right-wing Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP), by 610 votes.
Chintu polled 1,605 votes, while Shafqat polled 1,209 votes.
Having won all four seats in Delhi University Students’ Union polls, ABVP had hoped for a stellar performance in JNU this time. While it could not win any of the central panel posts in JNUSU, it seems to have left a mark in a university largely considered a left bastion.
The party claimed to have won 12 out of 31 councillor posts in JNUSU polls. “ABVP won 12 of the 31 councillor positions in JNUSU, second position on the vice-president and general secretary posts. Even though AISA won all seats, our voteshare increased 100 per cent from last year (500-1,000). Last year, we had six councillors,” Rohit Chahal, ABVP national secretary, said.
Reacting to the results,V Lenin Kumar, JNUSU president in 2012-13 and a member of the Democratic Students’ Federation, said, “Although our presidential candidate came second this time, the election results point to an alarming trend. ABVP’s rise on campus is alarming. We had given a call for Left unity ahead of the students’ union polls but some groups were more concerned with their own sectarian interests than putting up a united Left front. I hope after seeing the performance of ABVP, they will want a wider Left united front in the future so that one can fight Right-wing forces.”