Delhi

United Left sweeps JNUSU election

New regime(From left) Newly elected JNUSU president Geeta Kumari, vice-president Simone Zoya Khan, general secretary Duggirala Srikrishna and joint secretary Shubhanshu Singh in JNU on Sunday.

New regime(From left) Newly elected JNUSU president Geeta Kumari, vice-president Simone Zoya Khan, general secretary Duggirala Srikrishna and joint secretary Shubhanshu Singh in JNU on Sunday.  

Geeta Kumari wins post of president by 463 votes; ABVP comes in a distant second; BAPSA finishes third

Geeta Kumari from the United Left Panel — comprising the All India Students’ Association (AISA), the Students’ Federation of India (SFI) and the Democratic Students’ Federation (DSF) — has been elected president of the JNU Students’ Union JNUSU 2017-18.

Ms. Kumari won by a margin of 463 votes beating Nidhi Tripathi of the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP). Shabana Ali of the Birsa Ambedkar Phule Students’ Association (BAPSA) finished third in the race for president.

Huge margins

The result was declared at 2 a.m. on Sunday after a counting process that started on Friday night. For central panel posts of vice-president, general secretary and joint secretary, United Left Panel candidates Simone Zoya Khan, Duggirala Srikrishna and Shubhanshu Singh won respectively with huge margins. The ABVP came a distant second.

Speaking immediately after the results were announced, Ms. Kumari said her top priorities would be to ensure the proper handling of the Najeeb case by the Central Bureau of Investigation. She said she would also ensure the seat-cut issue is sorted by putting pressure on the “autocratic style of functioning” of the JNU administration.

She said, “The credit for the mandate goes to students because people still believe that democratic spaces should be saved and the only resistance right now is from students.”

Ms. Kumari promised that the panel would reach out to students every day to counter the aggressive policies of the ABVP.

Reacting to the ABVP’s defeat, Saket Bahuguna, the national media convener of the ABVP, said although the United Left Panel won all four seats the ABVP was number two on all seats.

‘Single largest party’

“With more than 4,000 votes together on four central panel posts, the ABVP is now the single-largest student organisation in JNU. We also won 10 seats of councillors, which is the highest for a single organisation this year. The ABVP particularly swept almost all seats in the science schools,” said Mr. Bahuguna.

He added that the ABVP was such a powerful force in JNU that all communist organisations, except the AISF, had to form an alliance to defeat it.

“This is a moral victory for nationalist forces in a so-called Leftist bastion where communist brainwashing had been the norm for decades. We thank the JNU community for voting and supporting the ABVP in JNUSU and we assure them that we will continue to work hard for their rights and corner the anti-India narrative of the communist brigade in JNU,” said Mr. Bahuguna.

ABVP student activists remained upbeat on campus and were seen celebrating their moral victory. They felt the ABVP had won the ideological debate even before the election started as several Left parties had to form an alliance to defeat them.

Rise in vote bank

The BAPSA, fighting only its third election, finished third place but showed that there was space for a party that did not subscribe to the Left-Right binary. With every election, the Ambedkarite forces have put up a better show basing their campaign on the “unity of the oppressed” slogan.

The student organisation feels its vote bank has increased considerably although it did not win any seats. Last year, the charisma of its presidential candidate got it votes. This year, all the candidates the BAPSA put up got a considerable number of votes.

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Printable version | Feb 18, 2020 3:34:47 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Delhi/united-left-sweeps-jnusu-election/article19657245.ece

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