Initial trends in the results of student union elections in Jawaharlal Nehru University indicate a strong surge for the Left Unity panel in three out of four posts. The candidates for ABVP and BAPSA were trailing after a total of 900 votes were counted.
The elections for the student union that took place on Friday saw a good voter turnout of 60 per cent, significantly higher than the last two years. More than 5,000 votes were polled.
This time, the SFI and AISA have come together on a platform of Left Unity to counter the ABVP and two-year-old Birsa Ambedkar Phule Students’ Association (BAPSA).
For the president’s post, Mohit of Left Unity faction was leading by 427 votes to 113 for Jahnavi of ABVP and 279 for Rahul of BAPSA. For the vice president’s post, again the Left Unity candidate, Amal PP was leading by more than 300 votes to the nearest opposition candidate. The Left Unity panel faces a tough opposition only for the joint secretary’s post where Pratim Ghosal of DSF has emerged as a strong contender.
The elections in the university assume greater significance after the February 9 event, in which anti-national slogans were allegedly raised at the university. Kanhaiya Kumar, outgoing president of the students union and leader of the AISF, was arrested on sedition charges and later released on bail. Two other leaders, Umar Khalid and Anirban, were also arrested to be later released on bail. Kanhaiya’s AISF is not in the fray this time.