Even as the Shiv Sena has been promoting Aditya Thackeray, the chairperson of Yuva Sena, as a youth leader, the Sena’s students’ wing kept away from the students’ council election of the Mumbai University this year.
While Yuva Sena activists claimed they boycotted the elections, sources from the Yuva Sena said they were forced to back out as they could not gather enough student representatives.
Experts say past records showed that Yuva Sena was losing its popularity as a students’ organisation. Besides, the re-entry of the National Students’ Union of India (NSUI) to the university students’ politics had added yet another dent to Yuva Sena’s influence, they added.
This is the first election contested by the NSUI in the Mumbai University, after it boycotted the polls in 2007, demanding the implementation of the Lyngdoh Commission recommendations. Though the university has not implemented the recommendations of the commission even now, the NSUI decided to participate in the polls this year.
Some Yuva Sena activists also claimed that some of their representatives defected to the NSUI. “Contesting with just three representatives was difficult, victory was impossible. Hence, Aditya Saheb decided against the party participating in the elections. But, that does not mean the Yuva Sena will not fight for the welfare of students,” said a Yuva Sena activist.
“The Yuva Sena staged the whole issue of receiving threat calls by their representatives. It was staged as the four girls did not even file an FIR,” alleged NSUI chief (Mumbai) Suraj Singh Thakur.
After the NSUI boycotted elections in 2007, Shiv Sena’s students’ wing Bhartiya Vidyarthi Sena (BVS) became one of the strongest sides in the students’ council election. Aditya Thackeray was not available for comment.