By Arun Pratap Singh
Dehradun, 10 Sep: Strife within the students’ wings of BJP and Congress, namely ABVP and NSUI, respectively, has resulted in probably the worst performance in students’ elections in various PG Colleges across the state. Sources within the BJP admitted that there was strife almost in every college within the party’s student outfit and it was for this reason the performance was badly affected. It is for the first time, perhaps, that 44 College Students’ Union President’s posts have gone to others or independents this time. ABVP has been able to win just 34 out of 96 posts of president in the state, while the NSUI could barely manage to win on 18. It is also after a big gap of 12 years that ABVP has lost the post of President of DAV (PG) College Students’ Union in Dehradun. While the post of General Secretary kept switching between different organisations like Aryan Group or independents, ABVP had kept its hold on the post of President for the last 12 years irrespective of the party that was in power in the state during these years. It will be relevant to point out here that DAV (PG) College in Dehradun has the highest number of students among all the PG Colleges across the state. Whenever the BJP has been in power in the state, the elections in DAV (PG) College have been a prestige issue for the CM and the party. This time, too, sources within the BJP concede that Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat as well as Mayor Sunil Uniyal ‘Gama’ had taken keen interest in the DAV (PG) College elections. They also claimed that the choice of the candidate was also theirs and despite the keen interest, they were unable to ensure a win for Sagar Tomar, who is stated to be choice of the CM as well as Gama. Ironically, for the party, the ultimate winner Nikhil Sharma, who won as an independent, was previously associated with ABVP but the party did not listen to his demand and he turned a rebel with the support of another ABVP student leader. In fact, Tomar, the official ABVP candidate, was a distant third after Sharma and the NSUI candidate, Himanshu Rawat. However, CM Trivendra Singh Rawat can draw some consolation from the fact that ABVP candidate Abhishek won the President’s election in Shaheed Durgamal (PG) College in Doiwala, which is the assembly constituency of the CM. Sources within the BJP claim that despite very visible and early signals that there was a major rebellion within the ABVP, the leadership of the BJP still remained adamant. The extent of the rebellion can be gauged from the fact that seven former College Presidents, all from the ABVP, rebelled and openly supported the candidature of Nikhil Sharma, who won by a very comfortable margin. SGRR (PG) College, too, has been an ABVP fort but here also internal rifts within the ABVP for the past two years turned fatal for the organisation, which lost the polls here. The ABVP rebels managed to win the polls. However, ABVP managed to secure a win at DBS College for the third straight year, while in MKP (PG) Girls’ College, it was a rather surprising win for the ABVP. Doon University also produced a good result for ABVP and sources admit that it was a pleasant surprise for the party. MPG College Mussoorie has mostly been good for the NSUI and this year too did not prove to be an exception. Haridwar produced a mixed bag for the ABVP, which won polls in 3 out of 7 colleges, while the NSUI could barely manage to win just one college. In Pauri, ABVP managed to win 11 colleges, while in Kumaon, the independents dominated in the majority of the colleges. Sources in the BJP claimed that the BJP leaders gave tickets to their own sycophants rather than popular workers within the organisation. The results ought to be an alarm call for the leadership, as it was very clear that ABVP had a good position since the rebels won the polls in several colleges. What is noticeable here is the fact that a rather poor performance of the ABVP did not turn into a blessing for NSUI. NSUI has fared badly across the state, even in the colleges where it has been performing rather well. Despite a show of unity in DBS College, the results were not good. Sources within Congress claimed that the party leadership interfered in the choice of candidates across the state and some despite being strong leaders and despite having long association with the organisation were ignored by the party leadership and, as a result, the organisation could not perform well even when it had the opportunity in view of the rifts within the ABVP. They added that party leaders preferred to give tickets to their own sycophants and therefore the results were disappointing but not surprising.