New Delhi: Roji M John today became the first “elected” national president of NSUI, after Rahul Gandhi introduced the system of election of office bearers in the Congress’ student wing and Youth Congress.

John, who was Vice President of the NSUI in-charge of Organisational Elections and Unit Management, replaces incumbent Rohit Chaudhary, NSUI spokesperson Amrish Rajan Pandey said.

Amrita Dhawan (Delhi), Mohit Sharma (Uttarakhand) and Kumar Raja (Jharkhand), who were the front runners in the vote count, were promoted as National Vice Presidents. They were earlier general secretaries in the NSUI.

An alumnus of Jawaharlal Nehru University, John, who hails from Kerala, was the first in his family to join politics and won the NSUI elections in his student days when Rahul had introduced an open membership in the Congress students’ wing and Youth Congress.

In NSUI, Roji was given the task of conducting elections in different states. His first assignment was in Chhattisgarh.

Soon after the election result was announced, John accompanied by the NSUI office bearers met Rahul Gandhi at his residence.

The NSUI election process was not without criticism. Days before the results were announced, an e-mail was sent from a private mail ID to Gandhi, the NSUI office bearers and journalists slamming the way the election was being conducted in the students’ body.

Another similar mail circulated today described John as personal assistant of a Union Minister.

Party spokesperson Abhishek Singhvi said at the AICC briefing that Congress President Sonia Gandhi has approved the election of John as the new NSUI President.

In a statement, the NSUI said that its National President earlier used to be nominated by the Congress President as per the recommendations of the AICC in-charge, but Rahul Gandhi empowered the office bearers to elect their National President taking the transformation process a step ahead.

Roji was the preferred choice of 36 out of 62 office bearers. In all, 34 state presidents and 28 national office bearers across the country participated in the process of choosing its president, it said.

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