While both the BJP and the Congress attempted to woo young voters ahead of polls, on Saturday in the three primary campuses of the capital — Delhi University (DU), Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) and Jamia Millia Islamia (JMI) — many seemed to have voted for the AAP.
With the CPI(M) giving a call to support the AAP a couple of days ago, students of the traditionally Left-leaning JNU seemed to have voted en masse for the party. Similar support for the AAP was seen in JMI and DU.
In response, the BJP’s student wing, Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) and other right-wing student groups said this was “yet another instance of the Left’s destructive political stance” against the BJP in Delhi’s student politics.
Meanwhile, the Congress’s presence was hardly felt in JNU. Chand Shekher Yadav, an MPhil student at JNU’s School of International Studies, said, “Muslim votes in JNU are strongly with the AAP. They traditionally voted for the Congress, but did not consider it an option this time. There is a surge in AAP votes when compared to the 2013 elections.”
At Jamia, a similar shift of the Muslim vote from the Congress to the AAP was observed. “The AAP’s politics aren’t perfect. They don’t have any clear ideology. But for now, it is a better alternative to the BJP,” Basit, an undergraduate student, said.
However, Sandip Singh, a member of JNU’s Students for Development forum, alleged, “Left-student bodies, such as the Students’ Federation of India and All India Students’ Association, have been playing negative politics by creating an anti-BJP atmosphere. These parties identify with the “dharna” and anarchic politics of the AAP. This is why they have galvanised the Left vote base in the campus in support of the AAP.”
The AAP buzz was visible in DU as well with people lining up to vote for the party. “Since morning, a steady stream of people has been trickling in. Everyone wants change and so everyone is voting for the AAP,” Rohit Gupta, an AAP volunteer, said.
After DUTA and the karamchari unions declared their support for the AAP, booth workers in the area felt confident that the AAP would get massive support from the area.