JNU students’ union polls: Campus to get a Dalit president after 27 years?

The ABVP is seeking votes on the promise of ‘Ram rajya’ on campus, while the United Left Front is pitching to ‘save the university from saffronisation’.

WrittenBy:Anmol Pritam

Delhi’s Jawaharlal Nehru University is set to go to polls on April 22, after a hiatus of four years, and the campus is abuzz with slogans of “Jai Shri Ram”, “Lal Salaam”, “Jai Bhim”, and “Inquilab Zindabad”

From campus issues, including scholarships and gender sensitivity, to national concerns, and international affairs – the university’s political discourse encompasses all.  

The United Left Front has fielded Dhananjay Kumar, who belongs to the Dalit community,  for the JNUSU president’s post. The last Dalit to be appointed as the student body’s president was Batti Lal Bairwa, about 27 years ago. Meanwhile, both the ABVP and the Birsa Ambedkar Phule Student Association have fielded tribal representatives Umesh Chandra Ajmeera and Biswajit Minji, respectively, as their presidential candidates.  

BAPSA’s Priyanshi Arya, contesting for JNUSU’s general secretary post, is the only Dalit-queer candidate in the elections. 

Newslaundry spoke to the candidates as well as the university students. While the ABVP is seeking votes on the promise of “Ram rajya” on campus and “liberating JNU from anti-national elements”, the United Left Front is pitching to “save the university from saffronisation and hooliganism”.

On the contrary, BAPSA, Chhatra RJD, and the Samajwadi Chhatra Sabha are contesting on issues different from the binary of the left and the right. 


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