ABVP loses Gujarat Central University polls: Disturbing sign for BJP in Gujarat?

The RSS-affiliated students’ organisation has been losing election after election in various prestigious universities across the country

Photo courtesy: social media
Photo courtesy: social media


Ahead of the Gujarat Assembly polls, the BJP has lost another important electoral battle to opposition forces. In a small but a significant student body election held at Gujarat Central University, the RSS-affiliated ABVP (Akhil Bharatiya Vidhyarthi Parishad) was completely routed, despite strong support from the present dispensation in power.

When National Herald contacted an ABVP leader from the university for his version, he refused to talk claiming that results were still awaited. However, according to ground reports, the School of Social Sciences, the largest department of the University, elected independent candidate Dileep Kumar and independent candidate Arvind won from the School of International Studies. Other independent winners from other departments include Arjun Patel and Vipin Singh.

Dalit and Left student organisations such as Birsa-Ambedkar-Phule-Student-Association, LDSF supported by the Congress’ student organisation NSUI and United OBC Forum had boycotted the elections but campaigned hard against the ABVP.

Dalit and the Left students organisations had held a two-day dharna against the ABVP in the campus as well.

However, state ABVP leader Priyananda Sharma claimed otherwise. He said that ABVP has won five seats of the nine seats while the united Opposition could only manage to win only four seats. Election could not be held for one seat because NSUI's activists created ruckus, he said.

“Student body elections have nothing to do with state politics. But, if anyone wants to take a message - it is victory of the BJP as ABVP has won more seats than united oposition.”

The ABVP candidates lost the students’ union polls by big margins in all schools including the prestigious School of Social Sciences and School of International Studies.

Kavita Krishnan, secretary of the All India Progressive Women's Association (AIPWA) and former joint secretary of JNU students’ union, said this defeat of the ABVP had three significant messages–- the mood of the country is now changing, Gujarat model of development is getting exposed and the youths in the state are increasingly getting disillusioned and the politics of communal polarisation is now not as effective as it has been earlier.

It is important to note that as per the recommendations of the Lyngdoh committee, the Gujarat Central University does not have a students’ union, but it has a students council. Each school in the university sends one nominated and one elected representative to the students council.

Photo courtesy: Gujarat Central University website
Photo courtesy: Gujarat Central University website
Gujarat Central University

Analysts say the defeat of ABVP is a direct outcome of the declining popularity of the RSS youth wing among youths. It has lost elections after elections in central universities.

ABVP was routed in the student’s union polls in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Lok Sabha seat, Varanasi, where it lost the president's post at Mahatma Gandhi Kashi Vidyapeeth.

The ABVP was defeated badly in the prestigious Jawaharlal Nehru University where a united Left captured all the posts. In Delhi University, the Congress’s students wing NSUI had won all major posts of the students’ union. Likewise, in Hyderabad Central University, a united conglomerate of students’ bodies delivered a crushing defeat to ABVP. In Allahabad University, Samajwadi Chhatra Sabha crushed the ABVP with a huge victory as well.

This story was updated after National Herald got inputs from Gujarat ABVP leader

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Published: 25 Nov 2017, 2:37 PM