Four months after the Lok Sabha elections paved the way for Narendra Modi and the BJP to assume power in Delhi, the national capital saw student union elections in both Delhi University (DU) and Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU). The results of these elections have highlighted the emergence of AISA not just as a significant political force in Delhi, but as the most credible pole for the democratic sentiment amongst students in Delhi against the communal, pro-corporate and rapidly unfolding anti-people agenda of the Modi regime.
AISA has swept the JNUSU elections once again this year, winning all the four office bearer posts. In the JNUSU elections, Ashutosh Kumar from the AISA won the post of President by polling 1386 votes and defeating the candidate from the DSF-AISF combine ‘Left and Progressive Front’ (LPF) by 377 votes. On the post of Vice President, AISA’s Anant Prakash Narayan polled 1366 votes and defeated the ABVP candidate by 610 votes. Chintu Kumari from AISA was elected General Secretary after she polled 1605 votes and defeated the ABVP candidate by 814 votes. AISA’s Shafqat Hussain Butt is JNUSU’s newly elected Joint Secretary, who won after polling 1209 votes and defeating the LPF candidate by 240 votes. SFI came 3rd in Gen. Secretary post and 4th in all other office bearers’ posts. In DU, AISA’s vote share has doubled from last’s year, with votes ranging between 10,000-13,000 in all 4 posts. AISA candidates have come a close third on all the four Central Panel posts, lagging behind NSUI by just 2100-2600 votes on the post of Vice President, Secretary and Joint Secretary.
In the early 1990s, in campuses across the country, forces such as the ABVP were creating a communal and casteist frenzy – riding the wave of reactionary anti-Mandal agitation and Babri Masjid demolition. It was in contention with this frenzy that AISA captured the imagination of students and swept student union elections in Allahabad, Banaras, JNU and Nainital’s Kumaon University – four premier campuses of north India. That remarkable moment, where a radical Left student organization delivered a shock-blow to the resurgent communal and casteist forces, is being repeated now by AISA. At a time when the BJP-RSS-ABVP brigade led by Modi are in power, promising ‘achhe din’ even as they intensify anti-people and anti-student economic policies, and run aggressive communal campaigns, AISA’s campaigns in DU and JNU have challenged them at the very moment when they imagined themselves to be strongest.