JNU elections: ABVP routed as Left Unity alliance sweeps to 4-0 victory
The Ambedkarite front BAPSA emerged as the single-largest party on the campus by polling the most votes as a standalone party.
The alliance formed by Left student outfits swept the students union elections at Jawharlal Nehru University on Saturday. Candidates from the alliance forged between the All India Students' Association (AISA) and the Students' Federation of India grabbed all four seats in the students' union. Mohit Pandey from AISA was elected the new JNUSU president.
Till last count, Pandey had polled a total 1954 votes to emerge the winner for the topmost position in the union. Trailing behind him were Rahul Sonpimple from the Birsa Ambedkar Phule Students' Association (BAPSA) with 1545 votes, and Jahnawi from the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) with 1048 votes.
Amal PP from the Left alliance won the seat of vice president with a massive total of 2461 votes, while Ravi Ranjan from the ABVP finished second with 1157 votes. Satarupa Chakraborty from the Left alliance was elected general secretary, while Tabrez Hasan from the alliance was elected joint secretary of the students' union.
These elections were fought in the aftermath of the February 9 incidents on the campus, after which six students were charged with sedition. Among them was the outgoing president Kanhaiya Kumar, who turned into a prominent anti-establishment voice on the campus and even went to jail. Kumar belongs to the All India Students' Federation, which did not contest elections this time.
The ABVP's efforts to campaign on the planks of nationalism went in vain as the student wing of the RSS lost the elections not only for the four executive positions but also for the council seats, which represent various schools of JNU. According to sources, the ABVP won a seat in the Sanskrit school while the Left Alliance and the Democratic Students' Front scooped up a large portion of the total council seats.
"This year, about 58.7% of the total students voted in the election, which is around 10% more than the last time, clearly showing support for the Left alliance and the Ambedkarite front," said a student from the university.
As the counting of votes came to a close on Saturday, chants of "laal salaam" and "jai bheem" reverberated throughout the campus as students took out marches and rallies to celebrate.
A significant outcome of the elections is the emergence of the Ambedkarite BAPSA as a major party in the elections, which gave tough competition to the Left alliance – which could convert into seats in the next elections.
Earlier in the day, the ABVP retained power in the Delhi University Students' Union elections by grabbing three seats out of four.
Corrections and clarifications: This story has been edited to correct the final tally of votes in the JNUSU elections. An earlier version was using a preliminary count.