RSS student wing ABVP, which has been losing college elections across Uttar Pradesh this year, was defeated by the BSP at K S Saket PG College, Ayodhya, losing the post of college president which it had won last year for the first time in eight years. The results were announced on Saturday.
The 65-year-old institution, which has over a lakh students and is affiliated to Avadh University, one of the largest and the only one where student union elections are held in northern UP, had got its first woman president when it elected ABVP’s Ekta Singh last year.
Rajesh Verma from BSP’s recently constituted student wing defeated second runner-up Neha Kumari from the Samajwadi Chhatra Sabha (SCS) by 300 votes for the post of college president. BSP’s Manoj Kumar won the post of vice-president by 45 votes. ABVP’s Ankit Tripathi was elected as general secretary and an independent candidate became the new deputy secretary.
A college student said BJP leaders had arrived on campus expecting a win, but the results turned out to be not what they expected.
Mohammad Asad, BSP’s Faizabad zone coordinator who groomed the students for this year’s elections, said, “We campaigned for unity against the BJP and ABVP’s divisive politics. The ABVP lost because it did no work the whole year. After winning last year, it has only abused power for its own benefits.”
This year, the ABVP lost elections in major educational centres of the state like Allahabad University, Kashi Vidyapith, Varanasi and Meerut College. It also suffered defeats in Gujarat Central University, Delhi University and JNU.
According to students, reasons for the losses range from the shadow of demonetisation and GST to a huge “disinterest in religion” and the “broken promise of job creation”.
Members of rival parties said the ABVP “hardly worked” for students through the year, and that students were tired of its “constant rhetoric about religion and communities”.
The ABVP, however, said that because it is a “one-of-its-kind student organisation involved in a larger sphere of social work than simple college issues”, it does not aim at winning student-level polls.