Who is Dhananjay, JNU Students Union's first Dalit president since 1996? | Latest News India - Hindustan Times

Who is Dhananjay, JNU Students Union's first Dalit president since 1996?

Mar 25, 2024 08:30 AM IST

JNU polls: All four seats were won by Left-backed groups.

New Delhi: A united Left on Sunday defeated the ABVP in the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) Students' Union elections, winning all four central seats that went to polls -- president, vice president, general secretary and joint secretary. Dhananjay, a PhD student from Bihar, has been elected as the president of JNUSU.

Left Unity’s Dhananjay is the new JNUSU president. (HT Photo)
Left Unity’s Dhananjay is the new JNUSU president. (HT Photo)

Who is Dhananjay?

The JNUSU polls were held on Friday after a four-year-long hiatus. Left-backed groups like the All India Students’ Association (AISA), Democratic Students’ Federation (DSF), Students’ Federation of India (SFI), and the All India Students’ Federation (AISF) contested the elections in alliance against RSS-backed Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP).

A total of 19 candidates contested for positions on the central panel of JNUSU, with eight candidates in the fray for the post of the president.

Dhananjay defeated ABVP’s Umesh Chandra Ajmeera by 922 votes. Avijit Ghosh (Left) defeated Deepika Sharma (ABVP) by 927 votes for the vice-president’s post. Priyanshi Arya (Birsa Ambedkar Phule Students’ Association, supported by the Left) defeated Arjun Anand (ABVP) by 926 votes for the general secretary’s post; while Mohammad Sajid (Left) defeated Govind Dangi (ABVP) by 508 votes for the joint secretary’s post.

Dhananjay, a PhD student from the School of Arts and Aesthetics, is a native of Bihar's Gaya.

Dhananjay is the first Dalit JNUSU president since Batti Lal Bairwa, who won in 1996.

Also read: In first JNU student polls in four years, Left sweeps 4-0

Dhananjay told PTI that the victory in JNUSU polls is a students' referendum against the politics of hate and violence.

"This victory is a referendum by the students of JNU that they reject the politics of hate and violence. The students have once again shown their trust in us. We will continue to fight for their rights and work on issues that concern students," he said.

The safety of women on campus, fund cuts, scholarship hike, infrastructural and water crisis will be his core agenda as the president of JNU's students union.

The Left's 4-0 clean sweep, despite a tough challenge by ABVP, shows that JNU is still a Left bastion.

JNU polls witnessed a 73 percent voter turnout on Friday.

With inputs from PTI

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