Forum for Arts Students (FAS) has swept the students’ union elections of the Jadavpur University arts faculty, traditionally a bastion of the Students Federation of India (SFI).
FAS won three seats, while All India Democratic Students’ Organisation (Aidso) bagged the remaining seat.
The elections were held on Tuesday. Counting of votes began at 11 am on Wednesday. The results were declared at 4 pm.
The new vice-chairperson of the union Mahadyuti Adhikary won by a margin of 428 votes. General secretary Sourish won by 454 votes.
The assistant general secretary (day), Souro, and assistant general secretary (night) won by 401 votes and 52 votes, respectively.
More than 1,800 students of the day section cast their vote. From the night section, about 180 students voted.
The students voted for the posts of the day or night assistant general secretary, vice-chairperson and general secretary. In addition, the students also voted for their class representatives.
FAS, which is not affiliated to any political party, was formed in the aftermath of police intervention to break a hunger strike by the university students in June 2005 to protest the expulsion of three students.
The SFI, the students’ wing of the CPM, controlled the students’ union for the past 11 years. Last year, FAS had wrested the vice-chairperson’s seat from the SFI.
The Nandigram issue was a major campaign plank against the party this year.
“We will work on student-related issues without interference from any outside body,” said vice-chairperson Adhikary on Wednesday. “For instance, we have been mobilising support for a movement demanding better placements.”
“Even a few years back, there was a feeling that the SFI could not be beaten without political backing. Last year’s results showed it could be achieved. This year’s results reflect a change in the mindset of the students,” added Adhikary.
SFI leaders said the verdict was “not unexpected”, but the margin of defeat came as a surprise.
The expected margin of defeat was about 200 votes, but FAS won by more than double the figure.