The Samajwadi Chhatra Sabha (SCS) swept the Allahabad University student election on Sunday, winning four out of five positions on the council, including that of the president. The RSS’s student wing Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) won the post of general secretary. Apart from the post of president, SCS, the Samajwadi Party’s student wing, won the posts of vice-president, joint secretary and cultural secretary. Of the four posts, that of general secretary and vice-president was the most tightly-contested.
SCS’s Chandrashekhar Chaudhary secured 2,249 votes, defeating ABVP’s Shivam Kumar Tiwari by 72 votes for the post of vice-president. The Congress-backed National Students’ Union of India (NSUI) candidate Vijay Singh Baghel was a distant third. For General Secretary, Nirbhay Kumar Dwivedi of ABVP (2,132 votes) defeated NSUI’s Arpit Singh by a margin of 61, while SCS’s Rohit Kumar Yadav finished third with 1,949 votes. Awanish Kumar Yadav of the SCS (3226 votes) won the president’s post defeating Independent candidate Mrityunjay Rao by 552 votes, whereas the third position was secured by Priyanka Singh (1,588 votes) of ABVP.
The Joint Secretary seat was secured by SCS’s Bharat Singh who got 2,051 votes against Independent candidate Adarsh Shukla’s 1,421. The NSUI and ABVP were relegated to the fourth and fifth spots, respectively by another Independent candidate Chandan Kumar “Chandu” in this category. SCS’s Avdhesh Singh Patel (3801) defeated ABVP’s Abhishek Kumar Awasthi by 912 votes fo the post of cultural secretary. ‘Victory for socialism’
SP national president Akhilesh Yadav said victory sends a message to the government that the welfare of students should not be ignored. He blamed the BJP governments’ policies towards universities as the reason behind students’ “anger”. “It’s a victory of socialist ideology and secularism. It gives a message that the interests of students cannot be ignored. Due to the faulty policies of the BJP, there is resentment among the youth,” PTI quoted Akhilesh.
After the oath taking ceremony on Sunday the SCS performed a “shuddhikaran” of the University premises and offices by sprinkling gangajal. They called it a response to a similar performance by BJP ministers after it won the state election earlier this year. “The fight for social justice that started in Delhi and Hyderabad has now reached Uttar Pradesh,” said Digvijay Singh, SCS state president, adding that the students voted against the “persecution of women in institutions like Banaras Hindu University (BHU)”, a topic which was widely raised in this student election.
On the issue of his party performing “shudhhikaran” in the University, Akhilesh Gupta, SCS district president called it an “act of revenge” pointing out that Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath had done a similar ritual before assuming office. “The BJP plays the politics of caste and religion, which we do not believe in,” Gupta said. Nirbhay Dwivedi, the lone representative of the ABVP on the student council of Allahabad University, however, said that the election results should not be seen as a reflection of the state or central government.
“Yes, performance was not up to the mark but this should not be seen as a vote on the BJP government. University elections are totally based on matters important to students,” said Dwivedi. On the “shuddhikaran” he said it was a good thing if the SCS was following the chief minister’s example but added that terming it as an act of revenge was not proper. In 2015, the ABVP had won four seats except that of the president, which had gone to the SCS-backed Independent candidate. The following year, the ABVP could win only the posts of president and joint secretary.