Right wing down, but not out in red bastion

Last Updated 15 September 2014, 14:19 IST

The stunning victory of All India Students Association (AISA) in Jawaharlal Nehru University Students Election (JNUSU) has once again established the dominance of the Left wing in the university. AISA won the positions of President, Vice President, Joint Secretary and General Secretary defeating candidates from Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP), National Students Union of India (NSUI), Students’ Federation of India (SFI) and Left Progressive Front (LPF).

Though the Marxist ideology continued to hold sway over the students, as it has been doing over the years, the right wing ABVP has, however, emerged as a strong force to reckon with in the Red bastion.

Ashutosh Kumar, who won the race for the union president’s post, secured a total of 1,386 votes defeating his nearest rival Rahila Perween, the candidate of LPF by a margin of 377 votes. Anant Prakash, AISA’s candidate for JNUSU vice presidential post, won by a margin of over 600 votes defeating ABVP’s Md. Jahidul Dewan.
“The victory margin between the left and right wing has decreased this time,” says Pankaj Srivastava, chief campaigning coordinator, ABVP.

“Earlier where the margin used to be more than 1,000, it has this time decreased to 500 votes. There is a slight change in the voting pattern as students are considering us an alternative. We are happy with the results because in the coming years political scenario will definitely change. We are making our presence felt in the university,” Srivastava exulted.

On the other hand NSUI, which is nowhere in the competition has, even during the election campaign, been content just to list its weak points. “We were not able to reach out to a maximum number of students in the university. We could not tell them about our work in the past. AISA won the elections by merely doing lip service. They have not done anything for the students, still they turned out to be winners,” rued Anil Kumar, who contested the election for the general secretary’s position.

Kumar is vociferous in his criticism of NSUI’s competitor ABVP. “Just because of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s impact at the national level, ABVP was able to bag some votes. They presented small Left parties and NSUI as anti-national, which was wrong. Secondly, they tried to influence students through social media and by sending text message to every student in the campus more than thrice a day. They managed to get all the mobile numbers from the administration.”
Interestingly, for the first time None of the Above (NOTA) option was introduced in the polling this time. More than 300 NOTA votes were cast in three of the four central panel seats.

(Published 15 September 2014, 14:19 IST)

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