All India Students Federation (AISF), of which sedition accused Kanhaiya Kumar is a member, is not contesting JNU student Union polls this year for which the final list of candidates was declared on Thursday. Last year, AISF had for the first time independently contested elections and opened its account in the union polls with Kanhaiya, who was elected for the President’s post.
During his tenure as JNUSU President, Kanhaiya became centre of a major controversy when he along with two other students was arrested in a sedition case over an event on campus during which anti-national slogans were allegedly raised. This year, AISF which is the student wing of the Communist Party of India (CPI) has decided to offer internal support to the alliance of All India Student Association (AISA) and Student Federation of India (SFI).
This is for the first time that AISA, the student wing of Communist Party of India (Marxist Leninist) and SFI have formed an alliance for JNU polls which has been named as “Left Unity”. Students Front for Swaraj (SFS), the student wing of AAP’s breakaway group Swaraj Abhiyan, has also fielded its candidates for the four crucial central panel posts in JNU for the first time. The polling will be held on September 9 and the counting of votes will begin on the same night. The Presidential debate will be held on September 7.
“The nomination and withdrawal process has concluded. After the scrutiny 18 nominations were found valid for the Central Panel. While five candidates are in fray for the post of President, nominations of four students have been accepted for the vice president post,” Ishita Mana, newly appointed CEC for JNUSU polls said.
“There are four and five candidates in race for the post of General Secretary and Joint Secretary. A total of 75 nominations were received for the central panel while 120 students had filed nominations for the post of councillors,” she added.
JNUSU is the representative body of the students in the varsity. The polling is scheduled on September 11, same as that for the Delhi University Students Union (DUSU). The poll pattern at JNU, however, differs from that of Delhi University.
Besides the routine campaigning, the candidates in JNU are also supposed to make speeches about their agenda followed by a round of questions at the “Presidential debate”. The night-long event which is conducted in the style of US Presidential debate is a sought after affair and also a deciding factor for the union elections.
Last year, AISF had opened its account in the JNUSU polls winning the president’s post, while RSS’ student wing ABVP has bagged one of four central panel slots after a gap of 14 years. Other parties who have fielded their candidates in the JNU polls this year include ABVP, Congress affiliated National Students Union of India (NSUI), Democratic Students Federation (DSF) and Birsa Ambdekar Phule Students Association (BAPSA).
(With PTI inputs)