AISA rises in DU, takes charge in JNU

BJP’s youth wing Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad may have bagged three out of four seats in the much talked about Delhi University Students Union elections, but it is AISA (All India Students’ Association) which has won this season of student politics in Delhi.

They have not just won all the four seats in the Jawaharlal Nehru University student union polls, but also performed exceedingly well in DUSU elections this time – so much so that they are now being seen a viable third alternative to the all-powerful NSUI and ABVP.

AISA’s presidential candidate in DUSU elections, Anjali of Hindu College won a total 8229 votes. This is over 250 per cent votes as compared to the 2900 they bagged last year and over 16 per cent of the total votes cast for the DUSU presidential candidates. Two other candidates put up by AISA - Ankit Pandey (vice-president) and Mohammad Khan Siddiqui (joint-secretary) also won over 6000 votes each.

Anjali says, “It is a result of our constant struggle for students’ rights whether it be in the area of education or women’s safety. We have conducted at least three big movements this year – following the December 16 gang rape incident, against the four-year graduation programme forced upon DU students and for rollback of unfair criteria introduced for the Institute of Banking Personnel Selection exams. Students have seen how we stand up for them, not just before the elections, but throughout the year.”

AISA gained immense popularity during the recent referendum they held on the FYUP programme. Volunteers covered over 20 colleges and took the votes of students on the issue. 11,556 participated in the referendum and 10,519 voted against FYUP.

In JNU, all four of AISA’s candidates emerged victorious. Last year, AISA had won three posts while that of president had gone to V Lenin Kumar of DSF. Sunny Kumar, the AISA State secretary says, “We campaigned for reduction of the weightage given to VIVA marks, hostels and availability of reading material in the libraries. If you ask the other parties, their agenda was not very different, but we didn’t treat them as poll issues, but problems requiring an unrelenting fight.”

He adds, “We have shown in both DU and JNU that student politics need not necessarily be a disgusting show of power, parochialism and money. We have proved that it can be a meaningful fight for one’s rights and that ordinary students with a zeal can also make a difference.”

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