The BJP’s student wing, ABVP, won the Ranchi University union Wednesday, completing a sweep in all five state universities in Jharkhand. The BJP is in alliance with the Akhil Jharkhand Chhatra Sangh, student wing of the AJSU, in Ranchi University but won the other four campuses independently.
On three campuses — Ranchi, Vinoba Bhave and Sido Kanhu Murmu universities —polls were held after eight years. In 2007, the ABVP-AJCS alliance had won all three. This year, the ABVP won Ranchi University in alliance, VB and SKM universities independently, and also gained Nilambar-Pitambar University where elections were held for the first time and where it won uncontested, and Kolhan University where it had lost to the JMM’s student wing in 2015.
“Earlier, we had marked our presence on various campuses in alliance. This time, barring Ranchi University where we won in alliance, we have bagged the main posts in the remaining four universities on our own,” said an ABVP office-bearer.
The results for the four universities other than Ranchi had been announced over the last three months. In Ranchi, the ABVP won the posts of president, vice-president and joint secretary while the AJSU bagged the posts of secretary and deputy secretary. The ABVP attributed the victory to “acceptance by the youth of nationalist thinking”. The ABVP had made an issue out of the JNU controversy involving the alleged chanting of anti-national slogans.
“We were clear right from the start that we are entering the campus on the regional-versus-national debate,” said ABVP state president Yagvalakya Shukla. “The questions we put were clear — whether they wanted to align with the people who share the thoughts of those who shouted anti-national slogans in JNU, or whether they believed in a nationalist perspective that sees one’s own benefit in the development of all.”
The newly elected office-bearers visited the state BJP office, where they celebrated the victory in the presence of Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha leaders. BJYM state president Amit Kumar said, “Student union elections are the first lesson in democracy. With this win, it is clear that nationalist-thinking leaders will be the future politicians of India.”
AJCS state coordinator Harish Kumar said. “Along with ABVP, we were the only students’ organisation that regularly marked a presence on campuses. We were in alliance with them only in Ranchi University; on all other campuses, it was a healthy fight between us on issues involving students.”
The elections were held along the lines of the Lyngdoh Committee recommendations, with representatives elected from constituent colleges in turn electing university level office-bearers.