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United Left sweeps JNUSU polls, SFI's Aishe Ghosh president

twitter-logo PTI        Last Updated: September 18, 2019  | 01:11 IST

(Eds: Combining related stories) New Delhi, Sep 17 (PTI) The united front of Left student organisations SFI, AISA, AISF and DSF on Tuesday swept the JNU Students' Union (JNUSU) polls, with Aishe Ghosh being elected president. The RSS-affiliated Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) came second on the posts of president, vice president, general secretary and joint secretary. The Congress-affiliated National Student's Union of India (NSUI) fielded candidate only for the post of president The results of the polls held on September 6 were announced by the election committee after the Delhi High Court permitted it. The high court had restricted the varsity from notifying the results following petitions by two students. Slogans of 'Lal Salaam' and 'Inquilab Zindabad' rent the air as the results were declared and the united front took out a victory March from the Ganga Dhaba, where members of the Left bodies were seen playing dhaflis. The Left grouping's presidential candidate and SFI member Aishe Ghosh defeated Manish Jangid of the ABVP by bagging 2,313 votes. Jangid got 1,128 votes. "We will work to have a barrier free and differently-able friendly campus," Ghosh, who hails from Durgapur in West Bengal, said, adding work to make health centres functional 24x7 will be carried out. The union will also ensure more hostels and better facilities for students, she said. "Our resistance and struggle will continue against the administration and we will try and mobilise students in the next one year," Ghosh, who is pursuing M.Phil in international relations, said. DSF's Saket Moon was elected JNUSU vice president and he bagged 3,365 votes. He defeated ABVP's Shruti Agnihotri by 2,030 votes in the polls that saw a 67.9 per cent turnout. Over 5,700 students cast their votes and the turnout is being billed as the highest in seven years. Moon said the agenda of the union is going to be two-fold -- raising campus issues, including that of budget cuts, and thwarting any attempt to silence democratic bodies. Satish Chandra Yadav from the AISA was elected general secretary and he polled 2,518 votes to defeat Sabareesh PA, who got 1,355 votes. "There are forces inside the campus that want to end democratic voices and silence dissent.There is a need to save the students' union from such forces and we will fight against them," said Yadav, who is in his home town Maharajganj in Uttar Pradesh. Md Danish, who is a member of the AISF, was elected joint secretary with 3,295 votes and he defeated Sumanta Kumar Sahu who got 1,508 votes. Celebrations of the Left student bodies were low-key this time as Yadav was at home and Danish out for some work when the results were announced. The 'United Left' alliance comprising the Students' Federation of India (SFI), the Democratic Students' Federation (DSF), the All India Students' Association (AISA) and the All India Students' Federation (AISF) was formed before the 2018 students' union polls, and it has repeated its last year performance this time by winning all the central posts. The Birsa Ambedkar Phule Students' Association (BAPSA) had fielded candidates for the president and general secretary posts, and stood third. Its presidential candidate Jitendra Suna got 1,121 votes and Waseem RS, their general secretary candidate, received 1,232 votes. The Chhatra RJD's presidential candidate Priyanka Bharti got 156 votes, while Raghavendra Mishra, an Independent candidate, contesting the post polled 53 votes. Mishra is also known as 'Yogi of JNU' as he wears saffron robes like that of Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath. NSUI's Prashant Kumar, who contested the president post, got 771 votes and stood fourth. The Left unity, ABVP, BAPSA and NSUI registered an increase in their vote share on the campus. The NSUI said it has seen a "massive" improvement in its vote share in the Jawaharlal Nehru University Students' Union (JNUSU) polls from 2017. In 2017, the NSUI's presidential candidate Vrishinika got 82 votes, while in this election, Kumar polled 771 votes, which the students' body termed as "massive". For the president's post, 115 students chose NOTA (none of the above) while there were 26 blank votes and 45 invalid votes cast. For the vice-president's post, 558 students exercised the NOTA option while there were 172 blank votes and 13 invalid votes. As many as 520 students exercised the NOTA option for the general secretary's post while the joint secretary post saw the maximum NOTA votes at 734. Counting for the polls was held on September 7. PTI SLB ANB ANB

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