NATIONAL

Left combine wins JNU students' union polls

NEW DELHI NOV. 9. Laying to rest all speculation about an anti-incumbency wave, the Left coalition, comprising the Students' Federation of India and the All-India Students' Federation, has again bagged all four central panel posts in the JNU Students' Union elections, the results of which were declared here today.

All four candidates of the SFI-AISF combine have won by fairly comfortable margins with Rohit, the presidential candidate, defeating his nearest rival, Shiv Shakti Nath Bakshi of the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad, by over 450 votes.

Shamshad Ahmad Khan, the lone AISF nominee and the Left combine's general secretary candidate, was the only other to defeat his nearest ABVP rival by over 400 votes. Both Parimal Maya Sudhakar, the vice-presidential candidate, and Ena Panda, candidate for joint secretary, defeated their nearest ABVP rivals by over 350 votes each.

Given an eight per cent drop in voter turnout compared to last year, the SFI-AISF workers said the margins had been proportionally higher than the overwhelming mandate received last year.

"I think that apart from voting against communalism, the JNU students have also recognised the efforts made by the outgoing union,'' said the newly-elected JNUSU president, Rohit.

In almost an exact repeat of last year, the SFI-AISF combine has retained a majority in the JNUSU executive council by winning 15 of the 26 councillor posts in various schools on the campus.

This number was the same last year except that this year the Left combine has lost one councillor post in the School of Social Sciences but won an extra one in the science schools.

Of the six major schools on the JNU campus, the Left combine has retained convenership in four, including the most populous School of Languages, Literature and Cultural Studies. The ABVP has won majority in two relatively smaller schools.

In the election for student representatives to the Gender Sensitisation Committee Against Sexual Harassment, Mahesh Gopalan defeated his nearest rival, Dhananjay Singh, by over 100 votes. Rosamin Mathew was elected unopposed for the second year in succession as the mandatory girl representative on the committee.

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