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ABVP and Left Front Clash Ahead of JNUSU 2024 Elections

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On Friday, February 9, 2024, ABVP members and left-wing student groups, including AISA, SFI, and DSF, got into a clash during the University General Body Meeting (UGBM). Videos of the clashes show both groups engaging in sloganeering and clashing at night. Both sides have claimed that their students have been injured and targeted by the other party. Videos of the incident show ABVP members obstructing the meeting by encroaching upon the dias and getting into a confrontation with the council members. The SFI has alleged that JNUSU President Aishe Ghosh has been attacked by ABVP members with water thrown at her. ABVP JNU has also alleged that Vikas Patel, the ABVP-JNU secretary, disabled student Divyaprakash, and other supporters of ABVP have been targeted by the United Left groups.

The JNUSU stated that they had earlier on the day established the necessary quorum, but the ABVP argues that the rule for quorum of one-tenth of the university strength was defied. ABVP alleged in a comment,

Disparaging casteist slurs were made against a worker handling a mic and speaker. We had agreed to initiate the UGBM even without the mic, but it wasn’t agreeable to the communists who silence others with loud noises of dafli.

They further claimed that:

The dafli, made from hard steel, was used by the anti-Democratic left to batter JNU students in order to stop UGBM.

The incident lies ahead of the JNUSU elections, which will take place after four years in the month of March. Currently, the office-bearers elected in 2019 are holding the office as agreed upon in an earlier UGBM held in September 2023. Anagha Pradeep, a JNU Councillor, has called out the administration and ABVP for together supporting the agenda that the JNUSU is illegal since, according to them, it is not a recognised body. The JNU administration had halted the elections in lieu of the pandemic and stated that they would follow the Lyngdoh Committee recommendations and must wait for PhD admissions to be completed. Representatives of all fronts had staged protests demanding a free and fair election for the Student Union at the earliest. The students had pointed out that if elections in other universities like DU have been running in parallel, then perhaps the administration is purposely dodging the election question. The JNUSU and the administration have been at loggerheads with each other since last year. Aishe Ghosh commented,

Recently, in interviews given to several media outlets, the JNU vice chancellor claimed that JNUSU elections cannot be held until the entire admission process, including that of Ph.D. admissions, has not been completed. These are patent lies and tactics at dilly-dallying, as the same vice chancellor and administration refused to hold elections in April 2023 even after the completion of the entire admission process.

She also added,

It is a deliberate strategy of the JNU Administration to curb the growth of the students’ social and political consciousness, which leads to the growth of the students as critical citizens capable of asking tough questions to those in power. The RSS-controlled administration, hell-bent on turning the campus into the breeding ground of the saffronization of education, is perennially afraid of students who are aware of and capable of seeing through their agenda.

On Febrary 10th, the ABVP staged a march owing to the incident and demanded “free and fair elections.” In response, the Left Front has also formed a human chain “of solidarity and resilience against the ABVP.” Aishe Ghosh has also raised the slogan, “Reject hooliganism!”

Read Also: “Allowed At Designated Places”- JNU Bans Protests Within 100m Of Any Academic Building; Violators May Face Rs. 20k Fine Or Expulsion

Featured Image Source: Shiksha

Sarah Nautiyal
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Journalism has been called the “first rough draft of history”. D.U.B may be termed as the first rough draft of DU history. Freedom to Express.

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