Congress’s National Students Union of India (NSUI) retained the key posts of vice-president and general secretary (GS) in the Maharaja Sayajirao University Students’ Union elections held on Saturday, even as faculty GS posts went to various other groups, including BJP-supported Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP).
Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti, which spearheaded the Patidar agitation for quota benefits, had announced support for the candidature of NSUI’s Priyanka Patel for the post of vice-president. Hitesh Batra secured victory in the election for the general secretary post.
Priyanka beat ABVP’s Simran Modi by 1,027 votes, while Hitesh got 2,101 more votes than nearest rival Subham Kaul of ABVP.
Out of 36,193 students on the campus, 15,283 (42.22 per cent) cast their vote — the highest (79.50 per cent) being reported from Pharmacy faculty where out of 122 students, 97 voted . Only one student turned up from the Faculty of Fine Arts which has a strength of 530 students.
Unlike the build up, elections remained peaceful.
From the Faculty of Commerce, which has most students (14,730), as many as 5,612 students voted and elected newly formed All Gujarat Student Group’s Kashyap Thakkar as faculty general secretary (FGS) with 2,193 votes.
Faculty of Science chose All India Students Association’s candidate Sandhya Rawat as its FGS, while ABVP candidate Ramkrishna Yadav won the post in Polytechnic College. ABVP’s Abhishek Patel won Law Faculty.
In the last election, which was held in 2013, NSUI had won both V-P and general secretary posts after nine years by defeating ABVP. Elections were suspended in 2014 following a plea in a local court by Law student Chataniya Limbachiya, who argued that MSU elections violated the Lyngdoh Committee recommendations.
Reacting on NSUI’s victory, Gujarat Congress president Bharatsinh Solanki said in a statement that BJP’s top leaders used “unfair means” to ensure that the NSUI did not win the election, but they failed.