New Delhi: The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) on Wednesday said that its student wing, the Chatra Yuva Sangharsh Samiti (CYSS) would combine forces with the CPI(ML)-backed All India Students' Association (AISA) ahead of the Delhi University Student Unions (DUSU) elections slated for the second week of September.
AAP's Delhi convener Gopal Rai said, “There will be a joint panel of CYSS and AISA and will provide a string alternative to the students of DU.”
Party sources explained that the alliance would be key since AISA had the experience in university polls, while AAP could utilise its government in Delhi to implement key projects for DU students.
The alliance, AAP sources said, has been in the works for the past few weeks. Last week, CYSS got new office bearers. “The decision to re-enter student politics was taken after the party realised that in order for it to actually make a change on the ground, it also needed to be involved in student politics. That is where the new crop of leaders will come from. To break the hegemony of the Congress and the BJP – it was important to have an alliance,” the source said.
Asked about the unlikely alliance with AISA, the source added, “This is not an ideological alliance. But one that is aimed at effecting a particular change within the campus.”
Rai also cited the Delhi government’s “success” in implementing change in the schools of the capital and maintained that the party wanted to similarly improve education standards in the universities.
“The entire country knows about the good work that the Delhi government has done in the schools. We want to do that in higher education too. The entire realm of student’s politics in the university is based on muscle power and money. The present political situation in the university is the biggest obstacle facing higher education right now,” the minister said.
CYSS’s debut elections in 2015 did not go according to plan. It did not wing a single seat – but it did manage to get 16 percent of the total vote share. Rai added that AISA, which had more experience in the university, had consistently received between 8,000 and 12,000 votes.
“This is the common demand from the campus – whether its teachers, students of employees in the university. They want an alternative. That an atmosphere of positivity, clean politics and communal harmony be brought to the campus,” Rai said.
The joint panel, he said, would focus on the three core issues: change, better education and better facilities. “The getting together of AISA and CYSS would guarantee change in politics. With the support of the students union, we will work towards better education,” he said, while adding that the Delhi government had recently implemented a new policy wherein students would be allowed to use their bus pass on the air-conditioned buses in Delhi’s fleet.
“We have also been fighting to decrease metro fares for students. Apart from this, we will work with DUSU to ensure that a world class library is created and that CCTV cameras are installed in all campuses, across Delhi,” he added.