JNU presidential debate sets tone for ABVP-Left fight

New Delhi: The beating of drums, motivated speeches and sound of sloganeering reverberated throughout the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) campus here on Wednesday evening as the eight candidates fielded for the student body polls delivered their speeches in the presidential debate with a direct political fight between the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) and the United Left Alliance.

The presidential debate was held for the post of President in the university, which started with slogans of ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai’, ‘Vande Mataram’, ‘Lal Salaam’, ‘Jai Bhim’ etc inside the prestigious university campus.

JNU Students Union elections are going to be held on March 22 this year.

The presidential debate was to be held on Wednesday at 9 p.m. but got delayed and started late night.

While the United Left Alliance — a coalition of all left-aligned student outfits — has fielded Dhananjay, a Dalit PhD student from Bihar as its presidential candidate, the RSS-aligned ABVP has selected Umesh Chandra Ajmeera, who hails from a Scheduled Tribe in Telangana, for the post.

Eight candidates contesting for four central posts spoke in a debate on national affairs affecting the country.

The United Left Alliance raised issues like farmers’ protest and electoral bonds.

Campus issues, including JNU hostel infrastructure and caste-based discrimination, were also included in the presidential debate by all the candidates.

The student union elections are going to be held in JNU after four years.

It is traditionally believed that the victory of a presidential candidate in JNU largely depends on his oratory performance in the presidential debate and many students decide who to vote for after listening to the debate. Therefore, all the candidates vying for the post of President work hard and prepare speeches for this event.

ABVP’s presidential candidate and ABVP’s central university work convenor, Umesh Chandra Ajmeera, said in his speech that his father died in a Naxalite attack during his childhood while his mother converted through cruelty and force to another religion.

“Within a few days my mother also died. When I came to JNU for higher education, I came in contact with the ABVP family. This family embraced me, supported me and made me the President of ABVP JNU unit, giving me the inspiration and opportunity to become strong while providing a capable leadership,” Ajmeera added.

He also told in his speech that while holding JNU Student Union elections, he was selected as the ABVP candidate for the post of President from the panel.

“I am making every possible effort to live up to the expectations of the Vidyarthi Parishad workers. Also, the positive work done by ABVP in the last five years should reach every student of JNU. I am determined to work in the interests of the students by providing a positive leadership in JNU.”

He said that when the whole world was struggling with the Covid-19 pandemic, JNUSU President Aishe Ghosh was getting her bail forfeited by contesting elections in West Bengal. In this critical time, the ABVP was working to distribute ration and essential items to the people, Ajmeera added.

“Today, the ABVP has struggled for a long time for getting a fund of Rs 58 crore that has been allocated for the infrastructure and hostel renovation of the university. JNU students are upset with the failures of the Left and this time the Vidyarthi Parishad is winning all four seats with complete majority.”

“Just as the entire country overcame injustice through five hundred years of struggle with the consecration of the grand Ram temple dedicated to Shri Ram on January 22. Similarly on March 22, JNU students will vote for the entire panel of ABVP. We will trump the Left.”


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