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Left Sweeps JNU Students’ Union Election, Elects First Dalit President in 27 Years

Victory for Diversity and Inclusivity: Left Sweeps JNU Elections, Elects First Dalit President in Nearly Three Decades.

New Delhi, 27 March 2024: In a resounding victory, the Left party has clinched all four seats in the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) Students’ Union Election, marking a significant shift in the campus politics landscape. The announcement came as Dhananjay, representing the United Left Panel, emerged victorious in the presidential race, defeating Umesh Chandra Ajmeera from ABVP with a staggering 2598 votes. Shailendra Kumar, the Chairperson of the Election Committee at JNU, declared Dhananjay as the winner amid a wave of celebration among Left supporters.

Dhananjay’s triumph carries historical weight as he becomes the first Dalit candidate to ascend to the presidency in 27 years, reflecting a transformative moment in JNU’s student politics. Accompanying him in this historic win is Priyanshi Arya, a nominee from BAPSA, who secured the position of general secretary, marking the first-ever representation of BAPSA in the central panel of JNUSU.

The victory resonated across the campus, symbolized by the vibrant display of red and blue flags as supporters cheered for the winning student outfits. Expressing their elation, BAPSA highlighted the significance of their inclusion in JNUSU’s central panel after a decade-long struggle, asserting that JNU’s student body now embraces a broader spectrum of ideologies.

Priyanshi Arya, hailing from Uttarakhand’s Haldwani district, articulated her vision to address systemic biases faced by Bahujan students, emphasizing the need to combat discrimination in viva-voce assessments and reduce the high dropout rates among SC and ST communities. Her agenda also encompasses advocating for gender-neutral facilities and promoting inclusivity by recognizing diverse gender identities.

Pramod Sagar, president of BAPSA’s JNU unit, underscored the party’s commitment to challenging Brahmanical structures within academic institutions, tracing BAPSA’s influence beyond JNU to universities across Rajasthan, Gujarat, and Uttarakhand. Meanwhile, the United Left Panel reiterated its commitment to inclusivity, emphasizing their strategy of fielding candidates from diverse backgrounds to foster a more representative student leadership.

Looking ahead, Dhananjay outlined plans to engage with the student body through general body meetings to formulate a comprehensive charter of demands based on their input. Priority issues include combating sexual harassment, improving accessibility, addressing infrastructural deficiencies, and reinstating the Gender Sensitisation Committee Against Sexual Harassment (GSCASH) to uphold gender justice on campus.

Reflecting on BAPSA’s journey since its inception in 2014, former leader Rahul Sonpimple underscored the party’s pioneering role in foregrounding discussions on caste within campus politics. He noted a gradual shift in the discourse, with other parties recognizing the importance of caste representation, signaling a broader societal acknowledgment of caste-based inequalities.

As the newly elected JNUSU prepares to embark on its mandate, it stands poised to challenge entrenched power structures, advocate for marginalized communities, and uphold the values of inclusivity and social justice at the heart of JNU’s ethos.

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