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Posted at: Sep 14, 2015, 1:11 AM; last updated: Sep 14, 2015, 1:05 AM (IST)JNUSU POLL SEES A MIXED PANEL

AISF wins president’s post; ABVP makes a comeback after 14 years

AISF wins president’s post; ABVP makes a comeback after 14 years
Winning candidates in the JNU students'' union election (R to L): president Kanhaiya Kumar (AISF), general secretary Rama Naga (AISA), vice-president Shehla Rashid Shora (AISA) and joint secretary Saurabh Kumar Sharma (ABVP) celebrate on campus in New Delhi on Sunday. Tribune photo

Ananya Panda

Tribune News Service

New Delhi, September 13

Even as Jawaharlal Nehru University retains its allegiance to Left forces, the most striking feature this time is the thumping arrival of the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) whose joint secretary nominee Saurabh Kumar Sharma has won the central panel election after a gap of 14 years. 

The new JNU Students Union (JNUSU) announced today by Chief Election Commissioner for JNUSU polls Praveen Thallapelli is a mixed panel with the Communist Party of India-backed All India Students Federation (AISF) bagging the president's post for the first time while the remaining two have been retained by the ultra-left All India Students Association (AISA). 

A third year PhD student Kanhaiya Kumar helped the AISF make an impressive comeback by trouncing sitting group AISA's presidential candidate Vijay Kumar by a margin of 67 votes. Kanhaiya from Bihar secured 1029 votes against Vijay's 962 votes. 

ABVP's win though by a margin of 28 votes in the central panel along with 10 councillors plus one supported suggests a revival of the right wing in JNU at a time when it has stamped its dominance yet again in Delhi University Students' Union. Its Sandeep Mahapatra, now a lawyer, had been elected as JNUSU president in 2000. 

What has further cheered the saffron brigade is that it finished second in two of the four central panel posts-vice-president and general secretary that the ABVP attributes to the "disillusionment" with Left politics. ABVP national secretary Mamta Tripathi said the student group has increased its vote share significantly. 

ABVP's Saurabh Kumar Sharma, who bagged the Joint Secretary's post with 1154 votes defeating AISA's Hamid Raza, said it is the result of the hard work of his party activists and frustration with Left politics. According to Rajneesh Pandey of Sanskrit centre, ABVP has emerged stronger since last year when its presidential candidate lost by over 200 votes and had secured 950 votes unlike normal 500 votes in previous years. 

This is something that has obviously left the Left camps worried even as it continues to hold ground on the JNU campus. AISA's Shehla Rashid Shora, pursuing MPhil at Centre of Law and Governance and its PhD scholar Rama Naga won the post of vice-president and general secretary by securing 1387 and 1159 votes respectively defeating ABVP's candidates Valentina Brahma and Devendra Singh Rajput.

Shehla, said to be first Kashmiri woman to have contested and elected to the central panel JNUSU, has polled the highest number of votes. She started her career with juvenile rights activism. 

"Left alliance here has been against AISA and not ABVP. If there is a credible Left on the campus it is we as rest of the Left parties were involved in an anti-AISA campaign, especially among fresh students and in the whole process delegitimising the left forces. We gave them (right wing) a close fight," said an activist of AISA which stood second in president and joint secretary posts. 

Reviving the political legacy of JNU is top in the agenda of newly elected JNUSU president, Kanhaiya Kumar. He plans to take up movement against Lyngdoh Committee recommendations.

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