Close on the heels of the Left having reclaimed power in the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) in Delhi has come news of the youth wing of the Congress–the National Students’ Union of India (NSUI) —having won the prestigious seats of President and Vice-President of the Delhi University Students Union. This is clearly a setback for the BJP and a boost for the Congress. The ABVP had won three of the four seats last year. The margins of victory this time are small but victories are victories.
The Delhi High Court, however, had said in an earlier order that the poll outcome for President will be subject to its final decision in the pending petition of NSUI presidential candidate Rocky Tuseed who had challenged the University Election Commission’s order rejecting his nomination for the polls. While the post of general secretary has been bagged by the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP), the youth wing of the BJP, results for the fourth post of joint secretary is in limbo with the NSUI having contested a ABVP win. It was a good seven years ago that the NSUI had won all four seats but this time around, the Congress youth wing has fallen short of that regardless of the final outcome for joint secretary’s election.
The NSUI had been mauled in the JNU elections, getting not even as many votes as NOTA (none of the above) but the recent setbacks for the BJP nationally with reports about the failure of the demonetisation initiative and the events in Panchkula town of Haryana in the wake of the arrest of Godman Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh have perhaps contributed to a setback for ABVP in the DUSU elections. With the Congress challenge being feeble across the nation, it would, however, be wrong to read too much into the DUSU victory of NSUI.
Yet, there is no denying that this is a wake-up call for the BJP with general elections less than two years away. Not only will the economy need to show greater resilience, the youth would have to be assiduously wooed. The jobs market has been tight for quite some time and concerted steps would be required to re-energise the employment sector. The Modi government can ill afford to be complacent. As for the DUSU, it would be interesting to see how the NSUI and the ABVP co-exist on and off the campus.