New Delhi: Even before the results for the Jawaharlal Nehru University Students' Union (JNUSU) polls were announced, celebrations had begun in the campus for the Left as red flags were waved and red gulal thrown in the air.
United Left's presidential candidate N Sai Balaji, vice-president candidate Sarika Chaudhary, general secretary candidate Aejaz Ahmed Rather and joint secretary candidate Amutha Jayadeep were sitting on the railing outside the counting centre and waving flags as they waited for the results.
The Left supporters, outnumbering those of other parties in the fray, danced with glee to the beats of dhol and dhapli. They chanted ‘Lal Salaam’ and raised slogans demanding justice for Dalit scholar Rohith Vemula and finding student Najeeb Ahmed who went missing from the JNU campus. With their faces smeared with red gulal, they also chanted 'ABVP murdabad'.
After the United Left front was declared the winner on all the four central panel posts, the cries grew louder and a victory march was taken from the School of International Studies to the famous Ganga Dhaba.
The Left-backed All India Students’ Association (AISA), Students’ Federation of India (SFI), Democratic Students' Federation (DSF) and All India Students' Federation (AISF) had come together to form the ‘United Left’ alliance.
Besides the Left bloc, there were candidates of Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP), the student wing of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), the Congress-affiliated National Students' Union of India (NSUI) and Birsa Ambedkar Phule Students Association (BAPSA).
The voter turnout in the keenly contested JNUSU election on Friday was 67.8 per cent, believed to be the highest in six years. Over 5,000 students cast their votes in the poll.