The Left Unity in Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) won all the four seats in this year’s students’ union election. N Sai Balaji has been elected as President and Sarika Chaudhary won the post of Vice President with a winning margin of over 1,000 votes and 1,500 votes respectively. Aejaz Ahmed Rather has been elected as the General Secretary while Amutha Jayadeep is the Joint Secretary.
With the participation of more than 5,000 students, the voter turnout in the election was 67.8 percent, which is believed to be the highest in the last six years.
— Anuj Chatterjee (@anuj_chatterjee) September 16, 2018
The Left Unity includes All India Students’ Association (AISA), Students’ Federation of India (SFI), Democratic Students’ Federation (DSF) and All India Students’ Federation (AISF) who all came together to contest the elections. The other students’ organisations that contested the elections were Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (students’ wing of Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh), National Students’ Union of India (students’ wing of Congress) and BAPSA (Birsa Ambedkar Phule Students’ Association). ABVP, which failed to win even a single seat, stood second in all the four posts.
On Saturday, a few ABVP members gathered to instigate violence against members of the EC and security guards, who were guarding the counting venue. They broke the barricade and the glass door of the School of International Studies (SIS). The ABVP alleged that they had not been informed before the counting began. According to the rules, counting agents are asked to arrive before the counting begins. Students say that three calls were made for the ABVP to send their agents, however, the counting process began because no one from the right-wing group’s student body responded to the call that was done through loudspeakers.
Shocked! Never seen something like this in JNU. ABVP goons broke glass doors and forcibly tried to enter the #JNUSU_Election2018 counting venue last night. They attacked the members of Election Committee and tried to snatch ballot boxes. Counting suspended.
— Shehla Rashid (@Shehla_Rashid) September 15, 2018
The counting was discontinued after the violent episode propagated by ABVP. Fearing that this would cancel the elections, a collective statement was put out by representatives from a number of other parties, including the Left bloc, NSUI, BAPSA and others demanded that “the ABVP members- Saurabh Sharma, Raghavendra Mishra, Akhilesh Pathak and others vacate the counting venue immediately to allow the election process to continue”. The counting of votes was finally resumed on Saturday evening.