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Students’ union polls: Left paints JNU red, ABVP is second

Left alliance gets 45% of 5,170 votes cast; ABVP gets 21.1%, says accepts mandate.

Written by Aranya Shankar | New Delhi | Updated: September 17, 2018 3:05:17 am
Scenes from the campus after the results were announced. (Express photo/Abhinav Saha) Scenes from the campus after the results were announced. (Express photo/Abhinav Saha)

The united Left student group alliance swept the Jawaharlal Nehru University Students’ Union polls this year with a considerable margin, defeating the ABVP which came second in all posts.

AISA’s N Sai Balaji was elected president with 2,161 of the total 5,170 votes, defeating ABVP’s Lalit Pandey by a margin of 1,179 votes. The posts of vice-president and general secretary were won by DSF’s Sarika Chaudhary (2,692 votes) and SFI’s Aejaz Ahmad Rather (2,423). AISF’s Amutha Jayadeep won the post of joint secretary by 2,047 votes.

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“The students have given us a decisive mandate and a message that if there is unity, Right-wing forces can be defeated. This is a vote against the politics of jumla and hamla that we have seen in the last four years… We want to tell the V-C — either engage with us or you will be forced to leave your position,” said Balaji.

The Left Unity panel – an alliance comprising AISA, SFI, DSF and AISF — got 45% of the total votes. This is an increase of nearly three percentage points from last year’s 42.2% — which included votes garnered by AISF, which had fought independently on two posts.

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The Left Unity panel has been winning all seats since 2016, in the aftermath of the February 9 event, when the alliance comprised AISA and SFI. Last year, DSF joined the alliance, and this year the AISF was added.

The post of councillors too saw a Left sweep, with the Left panel winning all five councillor positions in the School of Social Sciences and School of Languages, and four out of five positions at the School of International Studies (SIS).

The ABVP has one councillor post in the Sanskrit centre. BAPSA and NSUI also have one councillor each in the School of Arts & Aesthetics and SIS respectively.

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The ABVP, meanwhile, managed to more or less retain its vote share. Last year, the ABVP had got 21.45% of the total votes, while this year, it got 21.1% votes.

“ABVP is the single largest organisation on campus. It is such a force that four Left parties had to fight together, because they are scared of our popularity. But we accept the mandate of the students and will continue to work on students’ issues,” said president candidate Pandey.

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