ABVP created ruckus during JNU Students Union election because it saw defeat coming

The university is a bugbear for the Narendra Modi government and its supporters.

 |  3-minute read |   16-09-2018
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The controversy that erupted over the JNU Students’ Union elections on September 14 came as a shock to all those who are aware about how elections are conducted in the university.

The Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) cadres stormed into the JNU Election Commission (EC) rooms allocated in the School of International Studies (SIS). The ABVP cadres claimed that the Election Commission had broken the seal of the ballot boxes, and had started tabulating the votes in the absence of counting agents of candidates affiliated to the ABVP.

abvp-690_091618032028.jpgABVP is accused of creating a ruckus during the counting process. (Source: India Today)

They stayed on the premises from 3am to 5.30pm on September 14.

Many student witnesses claimed that the ABVP cadres had forced their way into the rooms allocated to the Election Commission.

Counting agents, who were present at the spot, claimed that three announcements were made over loudspeakers asking all candidates to come or send their representatives before counting began.

According to Shubhanshu Singh, incumbent JNUSU joint secretary, and Left Unity counting agent, ABVP men attacked the guard stationed at the entrance of the SIS building. Finally, at 6.10 pm, the four ABVP members who were in the counting centres, including presidential candidate Lalit Pandey and joint secretary candidate Venkat Choubey, relented and walked out. At 6.10pm, the EC announced that counting would resume in 20 minutes.

The immediate crisis was over.

Outside the SIS building, ABVP leader and presidential candidate Lalit Pandey argued, “This is not a kangaroo court and you cannot do things according to your whims.”

The ABVP men relented only after they got an assurance that two teachers would be present during the counting as observers. The Grievance Redressal Committee head Umesh Kadam, who is a professor at JNU and considered close the JNU vice-chancellor, promised: “The two observers will sit through the whole process. This is being done to bring transparency in the counting.”

jnu-690_091618033228.jpgThe Left has made a clean sweep in the JNU Student Union poll. (Source: Twitter)

However, the process had been transparent since the very beginning. The students graciously agreed to have another look at the votes to put to rest the slew of false and inaccurate accusations being made by the ABVP.

The ABVP assault on the JNUSU Election Commission was bound to come. After its victory in the Delhi University Students’ Union this year, the JNUSU elections were being seen by ABVP as the final stamp of approval on its politics.

JNU is a bugbear for the Narendra Modi government and its supporters. Despite the false allegations, harassment and arrests of JNU students in February 2016, the students supported by a critical mass of teachers, have held firm to their principles and traditions. Despite the ABVP adventurist campaign, the unity of the Dalit, OBC students led by NSUI and Left Wing has remained steadfast.

As the final results were announced, the Left won all four central panel posts.

It is clear that the ABVP had realised when the counting began that it was headed for a massive defeat. It is thus not surprising that ABVP created such a huge ruckus.

This triumph will be remembered for a long time. The JNUSU sweep will make both secular and communal parties think over what went wrong. 

Final results: After counting of 5,185 votes

President:

Lalit Pandey (ABVP )-972

N Sai Balaji (Left Unity)- 2,151

*Left won by 1,179 votes

Vice president

Geeta Sri (ABVP)- 1,013

Sarika (Left Unity) - 2,592

Left won by 1,579 votes

General secretary

Aejaz (Left Unity)- 2,426

Ganesh (ABVP)- 1,235

Left won by 1,193 votes

Joint secretary

Amutha (Left Unity)- 2047

Venkat Chaubey (ABVP)- 1290

Left won by 757 votes

Also read: How JNU VC has put idea of liberal university in serious crisis

 

 

Writer

Kamal Mitra Chenoy Kamal Mitra Chenoy @kamaichenoy

The writer is an academic and activist.

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