The student wing of the Aam Aadmi Party, the Chatra Yuva Sangarsh Sansthan (CYSS), and Left-leaning All India Students Association (AISA) have decided to come together for the Delhi University Students’ Union (DUSU) elections, scheduled for September 12. Making a comeback in the poll fray after two years, CYSS extended support to AISA, which has been fighting the DUSU polls since 1995, with the gap of a few years in between. CYSS fought its first polls in 2015, after AAP won the Delhi elections with massive votes, but was routed by the ABVP, which won all four positions of president, vice-president, secretary and joint secretary.
Even though AISA has never won a seat, it has been consistently securing third position in DUSU polls. The first two positions have traditionally been taken by the ABVP, student wing of the RSS, or the NSUI, student wing of the Congress. The parties said the alliance was to fight money, muscle power and hooliganism allegedly used by ABVP and NSUI. They further said they aim to build a fresh narrative on “nationalism”.
Announcing the alliance, Delhi’s Labour Minister Gopal Rai said, “We have come together to beat fascist forces and to bring about positive nationalism. Students are tired of money and muscle power, they want change. With this alliance, there will be positivity in student politics.” An analysis of votes polled in 2015 revealed that both AISA and CYSS together still fared behind votes cast for the ABVP. Asked if the alliance was to consolidate their votes, Sumit Yadav, CYSS Delhi president, said, “Last year NOTA votes were more than votes AISA received. We think students want an alternative politics. CYSS is neither right nor left, and we follow a middle path.”
Under the alliance, AISA will field candidates for the posts of president and vice-president, while CYSS will contest the seats of secretary and joint secretary. The two will release their manifestos separately. BJP MLA Vijendra Gupta tweeted, “The real face of AAP has been exposed. In reality, the Left politics that has been wiped away from entire country, is trying to grow roots in Delhi. It is now clear that AAP is a gathering of Urban Naxals and Leftists.”
NSUI national in-charge Ruchi Gupta said, “This is what they did in Goa. An organisation which did not have a unit in colleges now wants to fight a crucial student election. But we will put up an excellent fight.”
In 2015, CYSS had contested for the post of the vice-president, where it came second. However, the margin between ABVP’s winning candidate Sunny Dedha and CYSS’s Garima Rana was the highest, at 7,570. For the post of president and secretary, CYSS had secured the third position; and it lost the post of joint secretary to AISA with a vote margin of 1,840.