NEW DELHI: Once again, the red flag has swept the JNU Students Union (JNUSU) panel, in its first polls in four years. The ultra-left All India Students Association (AISA) won all four central panel posts on Saturday, following polls on Thursday. The left bastion chose AISA’s Sucheta De for President, with a huge margin of 1,200 votes over runner-up Zico Dasgupta (SFI). AISA’s Abhishek Kr. Yadav is the new Vice-president, with Ravi Prakash Singh and Mohammad Firoz Ahmad taking charge as General Secretary and Joint Secretary. The left combine of Students Federation of India (SFI) and All India Students Federation (AISF) were runners-up in all four.
Cries of “Lal Salaam” broke out soon after results were announced Saturday afternoon, with supporters waving red flags and congratulating the winners. Some senior students said poll fever was lukewarm this year in comparison to the past. The four-year break is a probable cause. Most of the students witnessed campur polls for the first time this year. A stay on JNUSU polls was imposed by the Supreme Court in 2008 after Lyngdoh committee recommendations were violated on campus.
A total of 4,637 votes were cast for the central panel—a turnout of around 60 per cent, lower than the earlier average of over 70 per cent. The student strength of JNU is around 7,000. A total of 123 candidates were in the fray for four central posts and 30 school councillor seats. Each school of study at JNU is represented by one or more councillors depending on the numerical strength of each. Larger schools like the School of Languages, School of Social Sciences and School of International Studies have five each. AISA also won about half of the councillor seats. The new union will be in office till September, when a fresh round of polls will be held, following the commencement of a new academic session in July.
Student issues of hostel accommodation, fulfilling of OBC seats, lowering weightage of interview in admissions from 30 to 15%, were among issues highlighted in AISA’s campaign. AISA has also promised to expand recognition of madrassa certificates for admission to JNU, and increase in scholarship amount as well as its timely disbursal.