The fight for the Jawaharlal Nehru University Students’ Union (JNUSU) this year was so intense that mere 27 to 67 votes have decided the fate of ideologically aligned student wings of the Left parties or the BJP.
While BJP being the ruling party at the Centre, its emergence in Delhi University as the victorious group was foregone but what happened in JNU was entirely different since the so-called left bastion has given way to BJP to celebrate the occasion of their joint secretary candidate winning the entry to JNUSU.
What is more important is that the All India Students’ Federation (AISF) with close affiliation to CPI has clinched the presidential position, wresting the crown back to the CPI or CPM alliance after two years.
For ABVP, it was a great win as last time it won JNUSU post in 2001 when Sambit Mahapatra, the current BJP national spokesperson, was elected president. Though the victory of their joint secretary candidate spells sweet victory after almost 14 years, it is still a tough fight ahead for ABVP on the campus, though BJP President Amit Shah himself congratulated the come-back victory on the campus.
But the final tally is rather unusual this year, making it difficult for any one party to call the shots. Essentially, the All India Students’ Association (AISA) was ousted from the top posts after two years of consecutive victory owing persisting hostel problem on the campus.
Here is the new central panel of JNUSU:
President – Kanhaiya Kumar — AISF
Vice President – Shehla Rashid – AISA
General secretary- Rama Naga – AISA
Joint Secretary – Saurabh Kumar Sharma – BJP
In addition, the posts of 31 councillors make sense as ABVP bagged 11 posts, 9 went to AISA and others are mostly Independent candidates. It means, the AISA (12 seats), ABVP (12 seats) are equally placed but other left parties may chip in to support AISA and the JNUSU president being from the third front in JNUSU is likely to chip in either to support or oppose future programs of action or protest.
On his part, AISF’s Kanhaiya Kumar said, “Today’s results are the reflection of the political understanding of the students on the campus. The campus has always rejected the divide and rule politics of the saffron flag. AISF will deal with larger political challenges on the campus. We will revive the varsity’s political legacy.”
Elections to JNUSU are unique as students themselves hold elections and the presidential debate before the final voting decides the fate of the Presidential candidate similar to the US Presidential Elections. Always the vocal and convincing candidate emerges victorious irrespective of party ideology but overall the Left has a strong base on the campus.