It was a fiery all-night presidential debate ahead of the Jawaharlal Nehru Student Union polls with the united-left panel candidate N. Sai Balaji attacking Prime Minister Narendra Modi by alleging that he was turning the country into “lynchistan”.“Mobs are allowed to kill people and get away with it as they have the backing of the RSS and the Central government. Demonetisation was a failure, there are no jobs as promised and there is a constant attack on higher education,” said Mr. Balaji in his speech drawing a parallel between what was going on in the country and how the university was being run by the vice-chancellor.
The ABVP candidate Lalit Pandey attacked the united-left panel that comprises of The All India Students’ Association (AISA), Democratic Students’ Federation (DSF), Students’ Federation of India (SFI) and the All India Students’ Federation (AISF) of being opportunistic during election time to ensure that the ABVP stays away from the union and then showing no unity to solve the various issues plaguing the campus. The ABVP candidate promised to fix the crumbling infrastructure on campus, ensuring a better health centre and addressing a host of other student issues if voted to power. He also promised to rid the university of “anti-national” elements.Birsa Ambedkar Phule Student Association’s (BAPSA) presidential candidate Thallapelli Praveen said that his party represents the voice of the oppressed classed on campus and asked students to think beyond the left and right binary on campus. He accused the Central government of shouting slogans like “Bharat Mata ki Jai” but bringing tears in the eyes of mothers like Radhika Vemula and Fatima Nafees (mother of missing JNU student Najeeb Ahmed). Attacking the left parties on campus, he alleged that they did not lead strong enough anti-administration movements and blamed them for the growing number of supporters of the ABVP on campus.
The Rashtriya Janata Dal’s student wing put up a candidate for the first time in JNUSU elections. It’s presidential candidate Jayant Kumar much like NSUI’s Vikas Yadav attacked the Central government for cutting the funding on higher education, imposing a cut in the number of seats and scuttling JNU’s reservation policy.
Three independent candidates Jahanu Kumar Heer, Nidhi Mishra and Saib Bilaval accused student organisations of playing politics and dividing the campus when they should be bringing the students together to fight against the administration’s policies attacking the JNU.