The Left-Unity made a clean sweep of the JNU students union election and retained all four seats, defeating the RSS-backed ABVP with considerable margins.
In the vote count which concluded early on Sunday, the election office announced Left alliance’s Geeta Kumari as the President-elect for the JNUSU, who defeated the closest candidate Nidhi Tripathi of the ABVP by a margin of over 400 votes.
Geeta Kumari got a total of 1,506 votes against Tripathi’s 1,042. Shabana Ali of Bhagat Singh Ambedkar Phule Students’ Association (BAPSA) ranked third with 935 votes. AISF’s Aparajita Raja polled 416 votes and independent candidate from the School of Languages, Mohammad Frooque Alam, who suffers from cerebral palsy, secured more votes than AISF, 419.
Geeta Kumari from the Left Unity, is the daughter of an Army man. She dedicated her win to slain journalist Gauri Lankesh and the values she stood for. During her term as the president, she plans to take up campus issues, pursue the Najeeb Ahmed case and fight against the seat cut and for gender justice.
Left supporters said, “The victory shows that there was no disenchantment against our politics.” The Left Unity will hold a victory march on Sunday.
Simone Zoya Khan, Duggirala Krishna and Shubhanshu Kumar from Left alliance were elected Vice President, General Secretary and Joint Secretary of the students union, respectively.
Khan, the Vice President-elect of the union, received 1,876 votes against 1,026 of ABVP’S Durgesh Kumar, who was the second closest.
Duggirala Srikrisha (Left) won on the General Secretary’s post by polling 2,082 votes. He was followed by ABVP’s Nikunj Makwana with 975 votes.
The post of Joint Secretary went to Shubhanshu Singh (Left) who got 1,755 votes. Pankaj Keshari of the ABVP got 920 votes.
“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,” JNUSU president-elect Geeta Kumari said.
She also promised to take up the issue of missing student Najeeb Ahmed, JNU seat cuts, new hostels and deprivation points, among others.
In the central panel, a total of 1512 NOTA votes were polled for all the four posts. Total 31 councillors have been elected for various posts, PTI quoted officials as saying.
The University had held the election on Friday in which a total of 4,620 students cast their ballots to choose their representatives for next one year.
CPI-Marxist party’s Students’ Federation of India (SFI), CPI-Marxist-Lenin (ML)-affiliated All India Students’ Association (AISA) and an independent left group Democratic Students’ Federation had formed a coalition to fight the election jointly. The alliance was formed in anticipation of a tough competition from the ABVP — an ideological offspring from Right-wing RSS-BJP stable.
With the results, Left groups maintained their hegemony intact in the campus known to be a bastion of communist parties.
Last year, too, all four central panel seats had gone to the SFI-AISA alliance. The AISF had not fielded any candidate in that election.