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In a First, ABVP Contests Student Union Polls of Jadavpur University in Kolkata

Left wing students of Jadavpur University raise slogans during a protest against Union Minister Babul Supriyo's participation in ABVP seminar, in Kolkata.  (PTI)

Left wing students of Jadavpur University raise slogans during a protest against Union Minister Babul Supriyo's participation in ABVP seminar, in Kolkata. (PTI)

ABVP has been trying to gain a foothold in JU and other campuses in Kolkata against left-leaning student groups.

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Sujit Nath

Kolkata: First time in its 65-year-old history, Jadavpur University (JU) in Kolkata will witness the ABVP contesting Student's Union Polls for all posts, on Wednesday.

The Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) is a right-wing all India students’ organisation affiliated to the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS).

This decision taken by ABVP could be crucial considering the recent standoff in the campus over the presence of Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar and Union Minister Babul Supriyo.

JU’s ABVP President, Suman Das, said, “Today, total nine ABVP candidates are contesting for the first time in JU and we are hopeful to win good number seats when the results will be declared on February 20, 2020.”

He said, “We felt necessary to contest because we want to preserve the culture of JU. Our fight is against those who are behind ‘Azaadi’ (freedom) slogans in the campus. Our fight is against those don’t allow Chancellor to enter campus. This will be our fight against anti-nationalists as we believe in Jatiyavaad(nationalist)."

“We are contesting all nine seats including four seats in Arts and five seats in Engineering,” he added.

From February 4 to 6, 2020, students from all groups filed their nominations for the polls. The final results will be declared on February 20.

SFI, JU unit Secretary Debraj Debnath said, “It’s good that they have decided to contest the students’ poll. But this will be their first and last contest in JU because the results will so be humiliating that they will not dare to contest again.”

On September 19, 2019, the Governor faced criticism from the ruling party TMC for visiting and rescuing Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MP Babul Supriyo who faced strong protests by the students of JU after he went there to attend an event organised by the ABVP.

ABVP has been trying to gain a foothold in JU and other campuses in Kolkata against left-leaning student groups, like the Students’ Federation of India (SFI), Democratic Students' Front (DSF), United Students' Democratic Front (USDF), We The Independent (WTI) and All India Students Association (AISA).

ABVP began making slow in-roads into JU in 2011. Now, with more than 200 members, it is the main opposition against the left students’ union at the varsity.

In 2016, the standoff intensified after state BJP president Dilip Ghosh criticised “azaadi” rallies (for Manipur and Kashmir) taken out by the Left students’ unions. “It became a place of anti-nationals,” Ghosh had said.

At JU, the previous students’ election was held in 2017. The Arts Department currently comes under SFI, while Science and Engineering departments are under WTI and DSF.

ABVP is the main opposition apart from the Trinamool Chhatra Parishad (TMCP), backed by TMC, which has no significant presence in JU.


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