Monday, September 25, 2017
NEW DELHI: The United Left alliance of SFI-AISA-DSF has swept the students union elections in Jawaharlal Nehru University. The ABVP has emerged strong enough to seize the second position, with BAPSA (Birsa Ambedkar Phule Students Union) close behind.
UL candidate Geeta Kumari defeated Nidhi Tripathi of the ABVP to become JNUSU president. Simone Zoya Khan defeated ABVP’s Durgesh Kumar to secure the vice president’s post. Duggirala Srikrisha (Left) won the General Secretary's post defeating ABVP's Nikunj Makwana. The post of joint secretary was won by Shubhanshu Singh (Left) who defeated his nearest rival Pankaj Keshari of the ABVP.
AISF, the student wing of the Communist Party of India stayed out of the Left alliance and did not secure a single seat. The nearest rival to the ABVP was BAPSA, a students group that has also risen fairly rapidly in JNU to cut into Left supremacy in the campus at some levels. The performance of the Congress students wing has been pathetic to put it mildly with the organisation being the only one to secure just double digit figures for the post of presidnet.
Three political signals emanate from the tense JNUSU polls;
1. The Left can be assured that unity is the only way forward. And the SFI-AISA-DSF unity worked fairly seamlessly for these elections. Both have to ensure that the journey now is as seamless, with coordination touching new high points. The AISF suffered because of its decision to contest alone and clearly cut into what would have otherwise been a vote for the United Left. The plus point is that despite an all out effort by the ABVP with full help from the administration, the United Left has retained its hold on the campus, and stymied the ABVP efforts to wrest the top office bearer seats.
2. The ABVP has grown dramatically in a campus where it had little presence before. In fact, was non-existent. The growth registered should give the United Left cause for worry, more so as there can be little room for complacency in the functioning of the JNUSU now. Infighting within will only help the ABVP grow further in the campus, and the UL will have to bring back the energy of the pre and post emergency days in JNU with concerted and sustained campaigns.
3. The abysmal performance of the NSUI shows that the Congress has still been unable to get its act together insofar as the student community, and the larger electorate is concerned. Its student wing remains as directionless as the parent body, with the results reflecting this lack of credibility.
BAPSA has done well, but not well enough clearly. And given its chequered career in JNU it probably has some introspection to do before it can be convinced of a steady course upwards.
The United Left will hold a victory march on Sunday.