‘AISF’s decision to not contest polls is to stop division of Left votes’
As attempts to forge a broader Left alliance in Jawaharlal Nehru University failed, the students’ union’s outgoing president Kanhaiya’s party All India Students Federation (AISF) has decided on Thursday not to contest elections which is scheduled on September 9.
The decision, according to AISF, was to stop diversion of votes to the Right wing students’ groups in the Left-dominated varsity.
In the last year’s election, AISF had won the post of president. Vice-president and general secretary were won by All India Students’ Association (AISA). The lone seat in the panel that went to ABVP was that of the joint secretary. This time, AISA has joined hands with SFI to contest elections for this year.
“Our efforts to forge a broader Left-democratic alliance with all Left students’ groups in the campus didn’t materialise. We took a principled position not to give an advantage to the Rightist ABVP by dividing the votes of the Left forces in the campuses. So our decision to not stand for election is to strengthen the progressive and democratic forces in the campus,” said Vishwanath Kumar, general secretary, AISF.
Kanhaiya and his students’ union were at the centre of controversy after the February 9 incident where anti-national slogans were allegedly raised. The incident raked up a national debate on nationalism and also led to the arrest of students including Kanhaiya Kumar on sedition charges.
The Right-wing Akhil Bharatiya Vidathar Parishad (ABVP), however, maintains that AISF’s decision was taken because they didn’t have any candidate to come in fray. “No candidate came forward because they are all frightened to represent an anti-national organisation which raises slogans to disintegrate India,” said Saurabh Sharma, the outgoing joint secretary of JNUSU and an ABVP member.
“The presence of only one ABVP member in the panel sent shivers down the spines of the Left. I was alone in the panel and fought with the Lefts to expose their true character, that is, anti-national,” added Sharma.