By Devika Bedi
Geeta Kumari is the newly elected president of JNU Students’ Union 2017-2018. The result was declared at 2 AM on 10th of September, Sunday. The counting began on Friday night. Kumari hails from the United Left Front Panel, an assembling of All India Students Association (AISA), the Students’ Federation of India (SFI) and the Democratic Students’ Federation.
Winning against competition
Geeta says, “The credit for the mandate goes to the students because people still believe that democratic forces should be saved and the only resistance right now is from students”. She won by a margin of 463 votes and beat her opponent Nidhi Tripathi of Akhil Bhartiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP). The third major party contesting, who came third, was Birsa Ambedkar Phule Student’s Association (BAPSA). Nevertheless, the NOTA ballot managed to get 1512 vote. The newly elected cadre includes Vice President Simone Zoya Khan, General Secretary Duggirala Srikrishna and Joint Secretary Shubhanshu Singh.
AISA’s Simone Zoya Khan got 1,876 votes out of total 4,620 defeating Durgesh Kumar of ABVP. Duggirala Srikrishna (Left) won the General Secretary’s post by polling 2082 votes, defeating Nikunj Makwana. Joint Secretary has gone to Shubhanshu Singh (Left) who got 1755 votes, defeating Pankaj Keshari.
Position of the new council
According to Kumari, issues to get top priority would be Najeeb investigation case by the Central Bureau of Investigation, and the settlement of seat-cut that was employed as a derivative of the ‘autocratic’ functioning of JNU administration. She said her panel would reach out to students on a daily basis to fight and resist ABVP’s stringent policies.
However, ABVP is confident with its decision making position after grabbing ten seats in the council. “With more than 4000 votes together on four central panel posts, the ABVP is now the single largest student organization in JNU. We also won 10 seats of the council which is the highest for a single organization this year. The ABVP particularly swept all seats in the science schools,” said Saket Bhaguna, the national media convenor of the ABVP. JNU saw major alliances of the left this time. It is interpreted in various ways and Bhaguna sees it in its favour. “This is a moral victory for nationalists forces in the so called Leftist bastion where the communist brainwashing had been the norm for decades. We thank the JNU community for voting and supporting the ABVP in JNUSU and we assure them that we will continue to work hard for their rights and corner the anti-India narrative of the communist brigade in JNU,” asserted Bhaguna.
BAPSA has shown a significant rise in its vote share symbolising their sort out place. Shabana Ali of BAPSA polled 935 votes, election panel officials said. Out of the total 4639 votes polled, 4620 were valid as 19 votes were discarded after voters put their slips in wrong ballots, they said. It kept itself from succumbing to the left-right binary and went ahead to make a place for its own. Their campaign went with the slogan “unity for oppressed”.
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