As per the last counting leads made public by the Election Committee (EC), the United Left Panel seemed to be heading for a sweeping victory in the Jawaharlal Nehru University Students’ Union (JNUSU) polls. Declaration of final results has been stayed by the Delhi High Court due to pending petitions.
Two students had approached the HC arguing that Lyngdoh Committee Rules were not being followed during polls. The court then directed JNU not to notify the result till the next date of hearing, September 17.
Chief Election Commissioner Shashank Patel said, “EC completed counting of ballots for posts of Central Panel and councillors of schools at 9 pm… As per direction of Delhi HC… declaration of final result is being withheld and submitted to Jawaharlal Nehru University through Dean of Students in sealed envelopes on September 8 at 11.30 pm.”
The EC Saturday had decided that the last 150 votes for the Central Panel seats would not be announced, so as to not violate the HC order. On Sunday, it withheld from announcing over 700 votes — 5,050 of 5,762 votes polled were announced.
On all four positions, the Left Panel alliance — comprising Students’ Federation of India (SFI), Democratic Students’ Federation (DSF), the All India Students’ Association (AISA) and the All India Students’ Federation (AISF) — seemed to be way ahead of the runner up.
For the post of president, SFI’s Aishe Ghosh was leading ahead of Jitendra Suna from Birsa Ambedkar Phule Students’ Association (BAPSA). If the HC accepts the results, SFI would get the president’s post after 13 years.
“The result… is because of the struggles we have led all year on various issues. It’s also an ideological victory; it sends out a political message that Right-wing forces can be wiped out,” said Ghosh.
Similarly, on the post of general secretary, AISA’s Satish Chandra Yadav was leading, followed by ABVP’s Sabareesh P A. At the posts of vice-president, DSF’s Saket Moon was leading, followed by ABVP’s Shruti Agnihotri. At joint secretary too, ABVP’s Sumant Kumar Sahu was trailing behind AISF’s Mohd Danish.
The remaining 700 votes would decide who comes second, BAPSA or ABVP. In the two posts that BAPSA is contesting in alliance with Fraternity, inspired by the Jamaat-e-Islami Hind, it is in close contest with ABVP.
At president, Suna was ahead of ABVP’s Manish Jangid. Similarly, on the post of general secretary, Fraternity’s Waseem
R S was trailing behind ABVP’s Sabareesh.
Suna said he was expecting BAPSA to perform better: “The Left’s propaganda against Jamaat seems to have worked. We need to work better and make inroads in the School of Languages, which is their stronghold.”
ABVP’s Agnihotri said the close contest between ABVP and BAPSA was due to Left votes going to the latter. “Since SFI and AISA exchanged posts this year, AISA voters who were upset with SFI fighting for president voted for BAPSA in that position. On general secretary, since the AISA candidate had been called out for sexist remarks in the past, Left votes shifted to BAPSA instead of going to him,” she said.
ABVP had hoped to gain votes by celebrating the abrogation of Article 370, which found mention in their speeches. However, Agnihotri said she didn’t see the results as a mandate on Kashmir.
Congress’ National Students’ Union of India and Chhatra Rashtriya Janata Dal also contested. NSUI fielded a candidate only for the post of president. CRJD candidates were faring poorly on posts of president and vice-president.
The Left has been sweeping all four seats since 2016. The ABVP came second on all posts last year.