Allahabad students union poll results unnerve BJP

Report by: 
Pradeep Kapoor
20 Oct 2017

The impressive victory of Samajwadi Party-backed Samajwadi Chatra Sabha in the Allahabad Students Union polls has given a big jolt to BJP and it is bound to impact state politics as well.
The manner in which SCS won four out five seats in the students union poll in the politically sensitive Allahabad has unnerved the Yogi government. SCS captured the posts of president, vice president, joint secretary and cultural secretary while ABVP of BJP could win only one post of general secretary. ABVP had won four seats in 2015 and two seats in 2016 while SCS had won two seats in 2016.
The present victory of SCS is also an indication of the students’ disenchantment with the Modi and Yogi brand of politics. The results are all the more embarrassing for chief minister Yogi Adityanath as two of his ministers -- deputy chief minister KP Maurya and Sidharth Nath Singh – are from Allahabad and had reportedly campaigned for the ABVP candidates.
The mood of students in the central university of Allahabad is similar to that of another central university: BHU Varanasi. During the third week of September in the presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his Lok Sabha constituency Varanasi girls took the initiative and staged a 48-hours dharna to protest against eve teasing and molestation on the campus. The students assailed the callous attitude of BHU vice chancellor GC Tripathi, who was backed by RSS.
The girls were later joined by the boys and the central government had no option but to send the controversial VC on leave and advertise the post for a new appointment. The newly elected office-bearers of Allahabad Students Union said that by and large the students were angry with the failure of the Modi and Yogi governments and were looking for a change. They said people were upset with growing unemployment.
The issue was tending to attract national attention, which forced the Prime Minister and BJP chief Amit Shah to speak to the chief minister over the police action on the BHU campus. The police action, which saw the police carry out a baton-charge and fire in the air disburse the protestors, followed the protest turning violent. Additional police personnel had to be deployed on the campus as a precautionary measure and the university had to be closed for some days.The BJP leadership is worried that the mood of the students, reflected through the students union polls in Allahabad and the protest in BHU along with the agitation in Lucknow University in the presence of CM Yogi Adityanath, will have a serious impact on the forthcoming civic polls and by-polls for Lok Sabha seats in Phulpur and Gorakhpur and several assembly seats.
BJP is taking all the elections very seriously; that’s why the chief minister held a meeting with his ministers and discussed the issue in detail. Yogi also assigned specific areas to the ministers to boost the chances of party candidates as BSP and other political parties are also contesting on their respective party symbols. The party leadership is looking for suitable candidates for the Lok Sabha and assembly by-elections to effectively deal with the possibility of joint opposition candidates.
The results of the Allahabad university Students Union polls are being considered as writing on the wall for both central government as well as the state government. There is no doubt that the results have boosted the morale of former chief minister Akhilesh Yadav, who congratulated the students for their decision. (IPA)