ABVP indulges in dirty politics ahead of JNU elections, attacks SFI Unit President

Hostel fees, abrogation of Art 370, attacks on minorities key issues

As JNU Students’ Union Elections for this year approach closer, AkhilBharatiyaVidyarthiParishad (ABVP), the youth wing of the RashtriyaSwayamsevaksangh (RSS)has reportedly started indulging in its predictable intimidatory tacticsof perpetuating fear and violence on their political opponents.

The SFI JNU Unit Vice President VenkateshPosagallawas reportedly attacked by ABVP goons during the presidential debate that took place on September 4, 2019. Pictures emerged showing Posagalla bleeding profusely from the head. (More details awaited)

The elections are being watched as a tough fight betweencandidatesfrom different students groups. The elections have been scheduled for September 6, 2019 and are seeing excited debates around recent political developments. Some of these are abrogation of Article 370, the constitutional provision granting the state of Jammu and Kashmir a special status, high fees charged for professional courses like MBA and engineering programmes, freedom of speech on campus and attacks on minorities. The names of the students’ candidates were announced on August 28, 2019 by the JNU Students’ Union Election Committee.

On September 2, the United Left took out a huge procession called the MashaalJulus (Torchlight procession) saw a massive turnout of students and hundreds of students came out to support the left candidates.

In a key development for this year’s alliance, all the four left leaning students’ groups active on the campus, have formed a pre-poll alliance.  Left Leaning Students Groups i.e. Students Federation of India (SFI), Democratic Students’ Federation (DSF), All India Students Association (AISA) and All India Students’ Federation (AISF) have joined hands to contest the elections. Their key opponent in elections is RSS-affiliated AkhilBharatiyaVidyarthiParishad (ABVP). The United Left has nominated the following members for different posts in the students’ union.

Party / Student GroupCandidates’ NamePost
DSFSaket MoonVice President
AISASatish Chandra YadavGeneral Secretary
AISFMohammad DanishJoint Secretary

Left candidates have vowed to focus on issues such as attacks on Dalits and Minorities udner the government as well as privatization of education sector, especially government universities and colleges as primary issues of concern. They will also seek revision in the high free structure imposed by government for professional programmes such as MBA and Engineering.

ABVP also has fielded candidates for all posts. Reportedly, the group claims that it has ensured that Rs. 91 crore from the DONER Ministry was allocated for the Placement Cell. Apparently, the group is demanding for sports quota in admission, access to libraries and new hostel for students. The groups is also focussing on a new campus for engineering and management students on campus.

Party / Student GroupCandidates’ NamePost
ABVPManish JangidPresident
ABVPShrutiAgnihotriVice President
ABVPSabareesh PAGeneral Secretary
ABVPSumanta Kumar SahuJoint Secretary

On the other hand, the Congress affiliated NSUI (National Students Union of India), which saw its vote share dwindle in the recent union polls, has fielded a single candidate for the Presidential post. NSUI’s Presidential candidate Prashant Kumar said that NSUI is aligned with the larger issues faced by the students on campus and therefore it has decided to only field candidate for President’s post while backing candidates from other like-minded groups (BAPSA and the CRJD) for other posts. Among the key issues highlighted by him, he cited academic autonomy and freedom of speech as the primary issues for NSUI in this year’s election.

Priyanka Bharti of the Chhatra RJD will be contesting for President’s post while RishipalYadav, who is visually challenged, will be contesting for the post of Vice President for the students group. BirsaAmbedkarPhule Students’ Association (BAPSA) —has fielded two candidates for the posts of the president and the general secretary.

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