In yet another setback for the saffron brigade, the Left unity-Left Unity — the alliance of AISA, SFI and DSF – candidates swept the students’ union elections in Jawaharlal Nehru University in the early hours of Sunday.
Left Unity’s Geeta Kumari won the president’s post, while Duggirala Srikrishna won the elections for general secretary and Simone Zoya Khan and Shubhansu Singh won the polls for the posts of vice president and joint secretary respectively.
In a close fight, United Left candidate Geeta Kumari won the president’s post by defeating Nidhi Tripathi of ABVP by 464 votes. Shabana Ali of BAPSA (Birsa Ambedkar Phule Students’ Association) polled 935 votes, election panel officials said.
Out of the total 4639 votes polled, 4620 were valid as 19 votes were discarded after voters put their slips in wrong ballots, they said. For vice president’s post, AISA’s Simone Zoya Khan got 1,876 votes out of total 4,620 votes. Khan defeated Durgesh Kumar of ABVP who got 1028 votes.
Duggirala Srikrisha (Left) won on the General Secretary’s post by polling 2082 votes. He was followed by ABVP’s Nikunj Makwana- 975 votes. The post of Joint Secretary has gone to Shubhanshu Singh (Left) who got 1755 votes. Pankaj Keshari of ABVP got 920 votes.
Geeta Kumari told PTI, “The credit for mandate goes to students because people still believe that democratic spaces should be saved and right now, the only resistance is from students.”
In 2016 too, the right-wing student body ABVP had faced a near annihilation despite their attempts to make this an issue of nationalism.
In an embarrassing development, senior BJP functionary from Madhya Pradesh, Kailash Vijayvargiya had tweeted congratulating ABVP candidates for their victory. Activist Kavita Krishnan pointed out how the senior BJP leader had fallen for a fake news.
— Kavita Krishnan (@kavita_krishnan) September 9, 2017
A red-faced Vijayvargiya was later forced to delete the posts.
Students elections in JNU have assumed quite a high profile status since last year when Kanhaiya Kumar and Umar Khalid were charged with sedition. Both had to spend few days in Tihar jail allegedly based on doctored videos of anti-national chanting on the campus.
More than a year has passed but the central government, who the Delhi Police report to, has not been able to prove if there were indeed slogans raised against India by the Left leaning students.