BAPSA secures historic Central Panel seat in JNUSU with Left’s support

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New Delhi: The Birsa Ambedkar Phule Students’ Association (BAPSA) clinched a position in the Central Panel of the Jawaharlal Nehru University Student Union (JNUSU) for the first time in its history.

Priyanshi Arya, BAPSA’s general secretary candidate, emerged victorious in the student union elections by defeating ABVP’s Arjun Anand by 926 votes. Arya polled in 2,887 votes while Anand received 1,961 votes.

The JNUSU results were declared late night on Sunday effecting a clean sweep of the United Left alliance on three seats of the Central Panel with one post of the four-member panel bagged by BAPSA.

In the polls that took place after a hiatus of four years, Dhananjay from the All India Students’ Association (AISA) won the JNUSU president’s post by securing 2,598 votes against the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad’s (ABVP) Umesh C Ajmeera, who secured 1,676 votes.

BAPSA is an Ambedkarite students’ organisation formed on November 15, 2014 at the Jawaharlal Nehru University on Birsa Munda’s birth anniversary.

Ever since the inception of JNUSU elections, BAPSA has never been able to secure a position in the Central Panel of JNUSU which comprises the president, vice president, secretary, and joint secretary.

However, the association has consistently won counsellor positions.

Despite its active involvement in JNUSU’s activities and a substantial voter base, BAPSA had struggled to secure a seat in the central panel until now.

The students union garnered the third-highest number of votes in the JNUSU elections, trailing behind the United Left Alliance and the ABVP.

The turning point came when the nomination of DSF President Swati Singh, slated to be the general secretary candidate of the United Left Alliance, was revoked following a complaint to the Grievance Redressal Committee.

Subsequently, the Left alliance reconfigured its strategy and threw its support behind BAPSA’s general secretary candidate, Priyanshi Arya. This last-minute shift saw Priyanshi Arya secure victory with an overwhelming support from the alliance.

However, following the elections, BAPSA opted to distance itself from the alliance, expressing its intention to contest future elections independently.

Addressing the media, Pramod Sagar, an official of BAPSA, emphasised the association’s “long-standing presence and its independent voter base,” citing past instances of supporting the Left alliance candidates “without receiving reciprocal acknowledgment”.

The last JNUSU polls held in 2019 were swept by Left-backed groups which comprised AISA, SFI, DFS, and AISF.

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