CPM may be losing its ground steadily in the political landscape of Bengal but its students’ arm SFI made a comeback in the Jadavpur University arts and science faculty union after a two-year hiatus. Other two faculties — science and engineering — however, closed the doors on student organizations of mainstream political parties. Significantly, Trinamool Chhatra Parishad has lost all the five office-bearers’ post.
Interestingly, a considerable number of students have opted for NOTA. Around 12% voters in engineering pressed the NOTA button while in arts and science, the figure stood at 10%. In fact, NOTA came second in at least two office-bearer posts — other than the GS — in engineering faculty. A majority of engineering students, as always, went with the Democratic Students’ Front (DSF). However, this faculty saw a rise in the ‘saffron’ vote share. Independent candidate backed by BJP’s student wing ABVP Rohit Jha bagged 646 votes.
Science students opted for the independents. We The Independents (WTI) — an independent organization — romped home with flying colours. The ripples were felt in the arts faculty with another independent organisation — Forum for Arts Students (FAS) — making a foray into key departments. FAS and others in the Opposition — AISA, DSO — have been more or less able to retain their support base as SFI took advantage of the multi-pronged contest.
SFI state president Madhuja Sen Roy congratulated JU students for supporting the party when “some people had written the Left off”. “Our victory in JU has come as a boost to our comrades elsewhere in the state where they are fighting against TMCP atrocities. The JU vote is also a rejection of the ABVP/RSS politics,” Sen said.
Independent candidate Rohit Jha isn’t losing heart very badley. “I got considerable number of votes. We targeted 1,000 votes and could have reached the figure if there was a good turnout of fourth year students,” Jha said.