ABVP HCU spokesperson Uday Inala says, “ABVP will not contest against any one, and there is no contest at all. We will win with 300-400 margin.”

University of Hyderabad student elections 2018 A triangular political battleFile Image
news Student politics Monday, October 01, 2018 - 17:53

The University of Hyderabad (UoH) is back in the limelight, this time with a seemingly triangular political battle for the upcoming student union elections, 2018-19. Unlike last year though, a change is visible in the way alliances are firming up this year. While the Student Federation of India (SFI) has chosen to march on alone, the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) has decided to team up with two other student groups, namely the Other Backward Classes Federation (OBCF) and the newly formed Sevalal Vidyarthi Dal.

Dalit-Bahujan student groups, meanwhile, have re-forged the United Democratic Alliance (UDA) to assert an autonomous political platform on the campus. The UDA was formed in 2013, and contested under the banner until 2015. Led by the Ambedkar Students’ Association (ASA). the UDA has in its fold the Bahujan Students’ Front (BSF), the Dalit Students’ Union (DSU), the Muslim Students’ Federation (MSF), the National Students’ Union of India (NSUI), the Students’ Islamic Organisation of India (SIO) and the Tribal Students’ Federation (TSF).

Dontha Prashanth, a senior member of the ASA, tells TNM that they’ve decided to bring back the UDA this year to strengthen the political platform of Dalit-Bahujan and other marginalised students. Prashanth says that the idea of UDA is to wage a battle against the administration, which, he alleges, is trying to impose the BJP’s views on the campus by increasing fees, and with arbitrary decisions against students.

“SFI declined to forge a larger alliance to combat communal forces on campus, for reasons best known to them,” he says, about CPI(M)’s student wing not being part of the alliance. “The SFI doesn’t want independent assertion from the margins. They especially don’t want to give space to the Muslim community,” he further alleges.

However, the SFI says that they tried to form a larger alliance with other secular and progressive organisations. “The possibility of such an alliance, combining all progressive and democratic organisations, could not materialise for various reasons, among which, irreconcilable ideological differences are a major factor,” the SFI’s official statement says.

“SFI respects the decision of various secular progressive organizations to forge an alliance and fight this critical election,” the statement further adds.

Speaking to TNM, SFI presidential candidate Naveen Erram says, “We are 100% sure that our panel will win. Our fight is against RSS-BJP and other communal forces, and against the privatisation of education.”

UDA’s presidential candidate Sreeja Vasthavi tells TNM that the alliance believes in the principles of students’ autonomy and social justice, and adds, “We are strong enough, with six women candidates in the panel, to defeat the ABVP.”

But while the UDA and SFI are keen on defeating ABVP, BJP’s student wing says they don’t think the others pose enough of a challenge to them. ABVP HCU spokesperson Uday Inala says, “ABVP will not contest against any one, and there is no contest at all. We will win with 300-400 margin.”

He further adds, “Other organisations are just trying their best to get the second position. Our main agenda is to address students’ issues such as food, electricity, and other facilities on par with central universities.”

ABVP panel’s presidential candidate Aarti Nagpal was unavailable for comment.

Student Union elections are due to be held later in the week.

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