The student wing of the Aam Aadmi Party, the Chatra Yuva Sangarsh Sansthan (CYSS), and left-wing students’ organisation, All India Students Association (AISA), have decided to form an alliance to jointly contest the Delhi University Students’ Union (DUSU) elections. DUSU polls are scheduled for September 12.
In a press conference, Aam Aadmi Party leader Gopal Rai and CPI-ML leader Ravi Rai announced the alliance. He said that AISA will field candidates for the post of president and vice president, while CYSS will be contesting for the posts of secretary and joint-secretary in the upcoming elections.
Rai also called for a ‘Badlav Ki Guarantee’ in DUSU elections. He stated that the alliance was formed to fight against money and muscle power, adding, that with the alliance of AISA and CYSS, an era of positivity will begin in DU’s student politics. CYSS has also launched ‘Badlav Yatra’ which will cover all colleges over the next three days.
“Students need a strong alternative in DUSU against politics of money and muscle power of ABVP and NSUI,” AISA DU unit President Kawalpreet Kaur has said. Kaur added, “Both student organisations have been silent on issues such as accommodation and transportation. ABVP is completely against academic freedom and they have harassed students and professors in past in Ramjas and other institutions. On the other hand, NSUI has been silent on all such issues. CYSS-AISA’s joint coalition is an alternative to students.”
CYSS in DUSU
CYSS contested DUSU polls in 2015, when the Aam Aadmi Party came back to power in Delhi. The AAP used government bus stops and other authorised publicity spaces for its campaigns. The party violated guidelines laid down by the Lyngdoh commission and faced serious criticism from students. CYSS, nevertheless, failed to grab the attention of students and stood third in the elections. After 2015, CYSS didn’t contest elections in 2016 and 2017.
AISA in DUSU
AISA, a left-leaning organisation, is the third strongest party in DU, after ABVP and NSUI.
In 2015, Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) swept all posts in DUSU. CYSS and AISA had contested the polls independently. Their combined vote share was more than the winning candidate for the post of joint-secretary; was close to the vote share of the vice president and secretary.
ABVP candidate for president secured 20,439 votes, NSUI got 14,112, CYSS 8,375 and AISA 7,464.
ABVP candidate for vice-president got 19,671, CYSS 12,101, NSUI 7,888 and AISA 6,838.
For secretary, ABVP secured 14,944, NSUI 10,334, CYSS 71,53 and AISA 6,382.
For joint-secretary, ABVP secured 16,243, NSUI 10,178, CYSS 82,05 and AISA 10,045.
Gearing up for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections in 2019, the AAP is strengthening itself in Delhi. The party has declared AAP leader Atishi as its candidate for the East Delhi seat. CYSS, thus, has changed its previous strategy where they used huge amounts of public resources for a campaign in 2015. The focus is now on street movement and college-to-college student campaigns.
Notably, in 2017, when NSUI clinched the president and vice-president’s post, NOTA proved to be the real game changer. NOTA votes polled for each post were: President – 5162, VP – 7689, Secretary -7891 and Joint Secretary – 9028.
The AISA-CYSS alliance is aiming to tap into these votes. DU has witnessed a low voter-turnout, ranging between 36 per cent and 43 per cent, over the past three years in DUSU elections.
The dissatisfaction among student community with DUSU could be a strong base for AISA-CYSS alliance. The last date of nomination for DUSU is September 4.