AISA sweeps JNU Students Union election, ABVP gains

New Delhi : The Left-leaning All India Students Association (AISA) Sunday swept the Jawaharlal Nehru University Students Union (JNUSU) election for a second consecutive year.

The AISA, affiliated to the Communist Party of India-Marxist Leninist, won the posts of the president, vice president, general secretary as well as joint secretary.

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In a campus dominated by Left politics, the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP), the student wing of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), came second on the posts of vice president and general secretary.

AISA’s Ashutosh Kumar, a student of Russian Studies, was elected president with 1,386 votes. He defeated Rahila Perween of the Left Progressive Front (LPF) who secured 1,009 votes.

The LPF is a new alliance between the Democratic Students Federation (DSF), the breakaway faction of the Students Federation of India (SFI), and the All India Students Federation (AISF) of the CPI.

Sourabh Kumar of the ABVP came third in the presidential race.

Anant Prakash Narayan, a student from the Centre for the Study of Law and Governance, won the post of vice president with 1,366 votes, defeating Md. Jahidul Dewan of ABVP (756). The third position went to Heena Goswami of the National Students Union of India, the student wing of the Congress.

Chintu Kumari became the general secretary with 1,605 votes. ABVP’s Ashish Kumar Dhanotiya got 791 votes and the SFI’s Najeeb V.R. finished third.

The once influential SFI, affiliated to the Communist Party of India-Marxist, has been weakened in recent years ever since it suffered a split in the JNU.

For the post of joint secretary, Shafqat Hussain Butt got 1,209 votes followed by LPF’s Mulayam Singh (969) while ABVP’s Gopal Lal Meena came third.

Besides the central panel, ABVP has also done well in the Councillors’ election where it won 12 of the total 31 seats, up from the six seats last year.

For AISA, the numbers have gone down from 14 last year to seven this year.

ABVP has given credit for its good show to the ground level work and the issues it raised on the campus.

“We talked about issues like having 24/7 health centre, safe campus for women, increase in fellowship and assistance for students from the northeast. These issues concern students, so they believed in us and gave us huge share of votes,” Dewan, pursuing Ph.D. in Hindi literature, told IANS.

Last year too, AISA won all four top posts, winning three by huge margins and one narrowly. It won three posts in 2012.

For AISA, their win is due to the work they did when they were in power.

“Last year when AISA-led JNUSU was there, we made central library 24/7, the JNU press autonomous, ‘other’ option in gender category in JNU forms, and upgraded the placement cell with web portal. Our efforts have been recognised,” Butt, the newly elected joint secretary and student of Persian and Central Asian studies, told IANS.

Following the win, jubilant AISA supporters took out a march on the campus.

AISA also did well in the just ended Delhi University Students Union (DUSU) elections although it failed to win any of the top posts. ABVP swept the DUSU elections.