Putting to an end to eight-year-old domination of Left student unions in University of Hyderabad camps, the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) has swept the University of Hyderabad Students Union (UoH SU) elections, results of which were declared last night.
The ABVP, that was in power last time in 2009-10, swept all six key posts of UoH SU. The election results also saw for the second time in university’s history, a woman become the President of Students Union, after 2013.
Aarti Nagpal, a PhD Psychology student grabbed the post of UoH SU president by a good margin of 334 votes over her nearest rival, Erram Naveen Kumar of the SFI. Other winners were Amit Kumar (vice-president), Dheeraj Sangoji (general secretary), Praveen Kumar S (joint secretary), Aravind S Kumar (cultural secretary) and Nikhil Raj K (sports secretary). The voting took place on October 5 under tight security.
ABVP coming to power in UoH SU elections after eight years, marks a drastic shift in the ideological orientation of the UoH SU, that has been dominated since last eight years by either CPM-backed SFI or the Ambedkarite students groups led by the Ambedkar Students Association (ASA) or an alliance of both these organizations.
ABVP contested election along with two alliance partners – OBC Federation and Sevalal Vidyarthi Dal, whereas SFI went alone and ASA had contested in alliance with six other student organizations.
Both the SFI and United Democratic Alliance(UDA), the ASA-led alliance, had based their election campaign on the premise that with BJP in power at the centre, if the ABVP comes to power they will not oppose policies by central government if they are harmful for the students, as both BJP and ABVP are backed by RSS.
However, the ABVP based its campaign mostly on issues based on campus related problems, mainly of poor food quality in the hostel mess, poor sanitation in hostels and improving gender-sensitivity in the campus. The victory comes two years after the unrest on the campus following the suicide of Dalit research scholar Rohith Vemula in January 2016. Vemula had committed suicide on January 17, 2016, after alleged caste-based discrimination on the campus.