ABVP jumps into fray in Jadavpur varsity students’ union polls

A new dimension as it puts up candidates for nine out of 12 office-bearers

The Jadavpur University, a hot bed of student politics, is all set for an interesting contest for the students’ union elections as the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (AVBP) — the student wing of the RSS — has fielded candidates for the first time in its history.

Elections to humanities, science and engineering faculties will be held after three years on Wednesday. The AVBP has put up candidates for nine out of 12 office-bearers of the union. So far the contest had been between the SFI and other Left leaning students’ unions but the presence of the AVBP has added new dimensions to the polls.

Sampriti Modak, a third year student of the International Relations is the only woman student supported by the AVBP who is contesting the polls for the post of general secretary of the arts faculty .

“We are contesting because we want the students should have an option to choose,” she said, alleging that the Left union had not even allowed them to campaign. All posters have been torn apart and thrown in the university pond, Ms. Modak said.

The humanities section has the highest number of students — over 4,000 followed by over 2.000 science students and 700 in the engineering faculty. Apart from the office-bearers of the three faculties, the students will elect over 600 class representatives.

Subhayan Achrya Majumdar of the SFI, contesting for the general secretary post of the arts faculty, said the issue this elections is not what is happening on the campus but the overall attack on the educational institutions by fascist forces. Mr. Majumdar said the RSS and other Hindutva outfits had been trying very hard to make a dent in the university politics with outside support.

The SFI has high hopes from the polls as recently the students’ wing of the CPI(M) won the polls at the Presidency University.

Other than the students’ unions like the All India Democratic Socialist Organisation (AIDSO) and the All India Students Association ( AISA), the students’ wing of the ruling Trinamool Congress Chhatra Parishad ( TMCP) is also in the fray.

Riwaz Pradhan, contesting for assistant general secretary with its supported, said it is the Trinamool Congress that can defeat the RSS and the BJP and not the Left parties. Despite the differences among the Left parties, there is also a whisper campaign among the unions that they should not let the AVBP or the TMCP gain from their differences.

Two days before the polls, Vice-Chancellor Suranjan Das issued a statement expressing hope that the tradition of cooperative and constructive harmony would prevail again this year. Professor Das expressed the hope of looking forward to “peaceful and democratic exercise of their franchise by students”.

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