JNUSU polls: 73 pc voter turnout, highest in 12 years

The elections, held in two phases, saw over 7,700 registered voters casting secret ballots, marking a significant turnout

The Jawaharlal Nehru University Students' Union (JNUSU) elections were last held in 2019. (photo: National Herald archives)
The Jawaharlal Nehru University Students' Union (JNUSU) elections were last held in 2019. (photo: National Herald archives)


The Jawaharlal Nehru University Students Union (JNUSU) polls on Friday, 22 March witnessed a voter turnout of 73 per cent, highest in the last 12 years, according to a comparison from previous years’ data.

The JNUSU elections were held in two phases, which were delayed due to logistical arrangements, the election committee said.

The polling was held after a four-year hiatus and over 7,700 registered electors cast their votes through a secret ballot.

The counting of votes, which was supposed to commence at 9 pm, is also running past its scheduled time because of the delay in polling.

After the counting of votes is completed, the JNUSU results will be declared on Sunday, 24 March.

Polling began at the 17 booths set up across different Centres of Studies at JNU around 11 am and continued till 7 pm. It was supposed to begin at 9 am.

JNU witnessed 67.9 per cent voter turnout in 2019, 67.8 per cent in 2018, 59 per cent in 2016-17, 55 per cent in 2015, 55 per cent in 2013-14 and 60 per cent in 2012.

Supporters of different student outfits chanted slogans and cheered for their leaders as voters queued to cast their votes at their respective centres.

Slogans of ‘Jai Bheem’, ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai’, and ‘Lal Salam’ along with beats of drum rented the air as a large number of students started flocking the polling booths after 11 am.

Nineteen candidates were vying for positions on the JNUSU central panel and 42 for school counsellors, with eight contenders in fray for the prestigious role of president.

The Central panel consists of president, vice president, joint secretary and general secretary.

The United Left comprising the All India Students' Association (AISA), Democratic Students' Federation (DSF), Students' Federation of India (SFI) and the All India Students' Federation (AISF) fielded Dhananjay for the president's post, Avijit Ghosh for vice president, and Mh Sajid for Joint Secretary.

The nomination of Swati Singh for General Secretary from the Left panel was cancelled by the Election Committee late Thursday night after it was challenged with the varsity's Grievance Redressal Cell (GRC) by ABVP.

Swati later sat on a hunger strike demanding re-election and re-nomination for the post of general secretary.

She alleged that the election committee informed her about the cancellation of her nomination late at night, a few hours before the commencement of the polling through WhatsApp.

The election committee, however, in a statement said it cancelled her nomination upon direction from the GRC committee.

During the polling differently-abled students also staged a hunger strike over an alleged derogatory remark by ABVP's presidential candidate during the question and answer session.

According to the students outfit, the Left's presidential candidate Dhananjay hails from Gaya, Bihar, and stands as the potential first Dalit president from the Left after Batti Lal Bairwa in 1996-67.

The RSS-affiliated ABVP fielded Umesh Chandra Ajmeera for president, Deepika Sharma for Vice President, Arjun Anand for Secretary and Govind Daangi for Joint Secretary.

Ajmeera's candidacy is underscored by his background as a victim of Naxalite attacks, losing his parents tragically in such incidents.

From the Congress's student outfit, NSUI Junaid Raza was running for president and Farheen Zaidi for general secretary.

BAPSA's contenders for Central Panel were Biswajit Minji for president, MD Anas A for vice president, Priyanshi Arya for joint secretary and Rupak Kumar Singh for general secretary.

Minji, hailing from an Adivasi community in West Bengal, draws inspiration from his parents' struggles as contractual labourers. He claims to be the first Adivasi presidential candidate if elected.

Samajwadi Chatra Sabha's presidential candidate, the only female contender for president's post is from Uttar Pradesh's Azamgarh district and aims to fight patriarchy and become the voice of the downtrodden on campus.

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Published: 23 Mar 2024, 9:58 AM