Staff Reporter

35 candidates in the race for the central panel of JNUSU

Manifestos presented covering national, international and campus issues

SFI, AISF to go separate ways for the first time since 1996

NEW DELHI: With the final list of candidates of different students’ outfits being displayed on Monday, the countdown for the Jawaharlal Nehru University Students’ Union polls for 2008-09 has officially begun.

At a press conference, the students’ organisations announced their central panels and presented their brief manifestos covering national, international and campus issues. As many as 35 candidates are in the race for the central panel, while 106 contestants will battle it out for the 31 councillors’ posts.

For the first time since 1996, the Students’ Federation of India has not struck an alliance with the All-India Students’ Federation (AISF). “There has been an SFI-AISF alliance since 1996. This time the two are going their separate ways as there was some stalemate over the AISF candidate for general secretary. We suggested another student’s name for the post, but the deadlock remained,” said SFI sources.

The SFI panel comprises Roshan Kishore (president), Abdul Rahman Ansari (vice-president), P.K. Anand (general secretary) and Akanksha Kumar (joint secretary).

Hoping to cash in on the “achievements” of the outgoing JNUSU, the All-India Students’ Association (AISA) has repeated its last term’s winning central panel barring Sucheta De who will be contesting for joint secretary.

The others are Sandeep Singh (president), Shephalika Shekhar (vice-president) and Md. Mobeen Alam (general secretary).

“Under AISA leadership, JNUSU led a campaign that successfully ensured the recognition of madrassa certificates in JNU. We also gave the issue of rights and facilities for the physically challenged students a centrality on the campus,” said outgoing JNUSU president Sandeep.

Contestants touched briefly on international issues like US “hegemony” and the ongoing global financial crisis, while burning issues back home like terrorism, communalism, violence against Christians in Orissa and Karnataka, bomb blasts and a judicial enquiry into the Batla House encounter also found a mention.

Contesting the polls for the third time, the Youth for Equality demanded there was no discrimination in the allotment of hostels to general category students.

The YFE panel includes Vikram Singh (president), Brundabana Mishra (vice-president), Amit Ranjan (general secretary) and Raghib Akhtar (joint secretary).

Highlighting the “accomplishments” of the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance government at the Centre, the NSUI sought to ensure vibrant functioning of a placement cell and demanded an increase in the University Grants Commission fellowships and the merit-cum-means amount. It has fielded Md. Faiz Alam Ashrafi (president), Bharat Kumar (vice-president), Harsh Vardhan Shyam (general secretary) and Vidisha Shukla (joint secretary).

The ABVPwill seek a mandate on weeding out “anti-Indian Constitution and anti-democratic forces” from the campus and demand action against secessionist and separatist movements. Its panel comprises Vijay Kumar (president), Amit Kumar Mishra (vice-president), Koparkar Rashmini Anil (general secretary) and Santosh Kumar Pathak (joint secretary).

The candidates for the Bahujan Students’ Front are Dharmendra Inani (president), Sujit Kumar (vice-president), Karakoti Sudhakara (general secretary) and Chakali Bramhayya (joint secretary). The Progressive Students’ Union has fielded Avinash Pandey and Renu Singh for president and general secretary, respectively.