New Delhi, September 9. All the major students’ organisations feel jittery on the eve of JNU polls tomorrow. The major contenders in the electoral fray are the Left, the Right and the Ambedkarite BAPSA. Even after the end of presidential debate last night at JNU’s Jhelam lawn, the scenario did not appear to change in favour of any political outfits. “This time the picture is very complicated,” said a student of social science who was present at the site of presidential debate.
Left student organisations, AISA (CPI-ML-Liberation’s student-wing), SFI (CPI-M’s student-wing) and DSF (the breakaway group of SFI) have teamed up and forged a Left unity alliance to save JNU from the Rightwing assault. Another Left organisation, AISF (CPI’s student-wing) is contesting for the post of President, Joint Secretary and councilors after it failed to reach to arrive at a seat-sharing agreement with AISA and SFI.
“The fight was over the post of president. AISF insisted on taking the top post which was acceptable to us”, confined an activist associated with AISA. AISF’s activists, by contrast, are of the view that its candidate Aparajitha Raja, the daughter of senior leader of CPI D. Raja, was the most deserving candidate for the post of president and the Left alliance should have agreed to her candidature. The fight for the post of presidents is likely to be among the four candidates: Geeta Kumari (Left-Alliance), Shabana Ali (the Ambedkarite BAPSA), Aparajitha Raja (AISF) and Nidhi Tripathi (ABVP, RSS’s student-wing), Vrishnika Singh (NSUI, Congress’ student-wing).
Note that all the major political outfits have fielded women on the presidential post. However, independent presidential candidate Farooque Alam, who is a differently abled student at School of Language Literature and Culture Studies, spoke well in the presidential debate. “His speech has won many hearts and he may get good votes”, argued a student. Traditionally the Left parties have been strong in the JNU but the emergence of BAPSA has posed a serious challenge to both the Left and the Right. The Rightwing ABVP is trying to break the “hegemony” of the Left but its support-base does seem to have not increased much.
Another Left organisation of the campus BASO, to which Omar Khalid belongs, is also contesting elections but it has only fielded two councilors from School of Social Sciences. NSUI, Congress’ student-wing is also it fray but it does not seem to competing with the frontrunners. NSUI has also fielded a woman candidate, Vrishnika Singh, for the post of President
Last year Left alliance candidate Mohit Pandey won for the post of President and BAPSA’s Rahul Sonpimple finished second. All the four central panel posts were won by the Left alliance of AISA and SFI.