After a gap of eight long years, Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) tasted electoral success in the 2018-19 University of Hyderabad Students Union (UoH SU) elections, results of which were declared on Saturday.
The ABVP, that was in power last time in 2009-10, swept all five 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.
The posts of Vice President, General Secretary, Joint Secretary, Sports Secretary and Cultural Secretary were grabbed by Amit Kumar, Dheeraj Sangoji, Praveen Chouhan, Aravind S Kumar and Nikhil Raj K.
The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) backed 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 Communist Party of India (Marxist)-backed Students Federation of India (SFI) or the Ambedkarite students groups led by the Ambedkar Students Association (ASA) or an alliance of both these organizations.
This is the second major victory for ABVP, that had recently won Students Union elections in Delhi University but saw a loss in Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) where an alliance of left-wing student organizations came to power.
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 Bharatiya Janata Party 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. The SFI and UDA won 1,349 and 842 votes respectively.
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.
With the ABVP coming to power, groups of students from the university started on Facebook started bursting with messages mocking mainly the left wing SFI and comparing the win of ABVP as the end of Communism on campus.
- Aarti Nagpal (ABVP-OBCF-SVD) – 1,663 votes
- Erram Naveen Kumar (SFI) – 1,329 votes
- G Sreeja Vasthavi (ASA-NSUI-TSF-BSF-DSU-MSF-SIO) – 842 votes