HYDERABAD: Students Union (SU) elections in University of Hyderabad scheduled to be held on September 21 has seen some surprising changes in political equations on campus. Last year’s rivals, left wing Students Federation of India (SFI) and Ambedkarite organisation, Ambedkar Students Association (ASA) have come together under one ‘grand alliance’ of ‘Alliance for Social Justice’ (ASJ) formed to defeat the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) backed Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP).
The alliance also includes organisations which were a part of the Left led alliance last year —Dalit Students Union, Tribal Students Forum and Telangana Vidyarthi Vedika.
In last year’s SU election, which was held just eight months after suicide of Rohith Vemula, an ASA leader and critique of SFI, the two parties had contested separately. ASA had allied with Congress backed National Students Union of India (NSUI). The ASA even bitterly criticised SFI as its members shared posts of the left being brahminical. However, this year all differences between SFI and ASA seem to be buried under the hatchet as the ASJ has fielded Sreerag P, an ASA leader as SU President candidate. The alliance, however, has not fielded a single woman candidate.
NSUI, with its miniscule presence on campus, is bitter about the grand alliance and has fielded a lone candidate, Anju Rao, for post of president. In a post on social media, NSUI has blamed SFI of playing the card of ideological purity saying that the mainstream left parties contested elections in West Bengal in coalition with Congress but SFI was against including NSUI in ASJ.
ABVP, like in previous year’s SU election has allied with OBC Forum for and has fielded K Palsaniya as their Presidential candidate and slogan of “From illusions to solutions. From propaganda to agenda”.
The ASJ however has been hailed as a united front of Ambedkarite and left students organizations to fight against ABVP, unlike in the recently held JNU SU elections which saw a bitterly fought battle between Birsa Ambedkar Phule Students’ Association (BAPSA) and alliance of All India Students’ Association (AISA), SFI and Democratic Student’s Federation (DSF).