Red ruled the Jadavpur University campus on Thursday as Left-backed Democratic Students’ Front (DSF) and Students’ Federation of India (SFI) held on their traditional strongholds at the engineering and arts faculties respectively while independent organisation We The Independent (WTI) successfully retained the science faculty.
The poll results dealt a blow to Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) which had surprised many by fielding candidates in a majority of the seats for the first time. As the trends became apparent, the campus sported a festive look with slogans of ‘Inquilab Zindabad’ and ‘ABVP shame! shame!’ reverberating across it.
While the students and activists of the Left camp smeared each other with coloured powder and waved flags, the camps of the Trinamul Chhatra Parishad (TMCP) and ABVP wore a deserted look. However, contesting the elections for the first time, ABVP came second in the engineering faculty overtaking both SFI and TMCP.
“The victory of SFI was expected, but initially we thought that there would be stiff competition as several independent student organisations had formed an alliance, the Democratic Students’ Association (DSA). But as the results are showing, we have already won AGS (evening) seat while taking a huge lead in other three seats of CP, GS and AGS (day),” said Biswanath Maity of SFI. As per the latest results, SFI is also winning in a majority of the 220 class representatives’ posts.
Radical Left DSF won all the five-panel seats of CP, GS, AGS (day, night and Salt Lake campus) in the engineering faculty while retaining maximum numbers of CR posts. ABVP emerged as a distant second here.
“ABVP had fought the elections only on money power, and they put up banners throughout the campus. But the results show that the students have completely rejected their divisive agenda,” said a spokesperson of DSF.
Like SFI, DSF also raised their voices against CAA, NRC and NPR during the election campaign in which JNU students’ union president Aishe Ghosh participated.
“We are not disheartened by the results. Though we have failed to win any of nine panel seats of AFSU and FETSU, we have emerged second in engineering faculty in terms of total votes cast. This demonstrates that ABVP is the only alternative to Leftist groups here,” said ABVP state secretary Suranjan Sarkar.
Responding to ABVP nominees coming second to DSF candidates in the engineering faculty, leader of Left Front Legislative Party Sujan Chakraborty said that the votes polled by the students’ wing of RSS had halved this year compared to the previous year’s when they contested as NSF nominees and did not indicate any organisational inroads by ABVP in JU.
Mr Chakraborty also said the JU students’ election had halted the “politics of capturing the elections” by Trinamul Congress supporters. “We only fight for the issues concerning the students and our fight is without any political affiliation. While SFI and others talk of putting an end to the fascist agenda, it is only the science faculty from where ABVP failed to nominate any candidate,” said Kushal Mondal of WTI which retained all four office bearers’ post in SFSU.
The elections were held for 12 posts of officer bearers as well as for over 600 class representatives’ posts in three faculties.