The Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) on Friday voted to choose its student representatives for the next one year.
A total of 14 polling booths were set up for about 7,200 students of the varsity to elect a new President, Vice President, General Secretary, and Joint Secretary of the JNU Students Union. The polling started at 9.30 a.m. and continued till 5.30 p.m.
The Left alliance (SFI-AISF-DSF), the radical left All India Students’ Association (AISA), the RSS-affiliated Akhil Bhartiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP), the Congress’ National Students Union of India (NSUI) and Birsa-Ambedkar-Phule Students’ Association (BAPSA) are the prominent student groups in the fray.
Apart from these five, two independent candidates — Farooque Alam and Gaurav Kumar — are in the battle for the President’s post.
Alam, a disabled student, got the loudest cheers during the presidential debate held on Wednesday night when he tore into the other student outfits’ policies with his sarcastic barbs and searing put-downs. An ecstatic crowd gave him a standing ovation.
All student groups have fielded women candidates for the post of president this year. In the fray are Geeta Kumari from AISA, Nidhi Tripathi from the ABVP, Aparajita Raja from the Left, while Shabana Ali has been fielded by the BAPSA, which is known to be a staunch opponent of the Left parties and was only second to them in the previous union election, leaving ABVP behind.
A student who talked to IANS said that polling was a bit slack in the first half of the day but grew in intensity as the day closed in.
An official of the Election Committee, which is composed of students only, told IANS: “We cannot reveal the number of students who have polled. We will reveal the number only till around 6.30 p.m.”
The result for the election will likely be announced on September 11.