Alam puts rivals in shade at JNUSU presidential debate

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New Delhi, Sept 7 (PTI): Ahead of the JNUSU polls, independent candidate M D Farooque Alam stole the show at the night-long presidential debate as he kept the audience hooked with his witty speech and hit out at student political outfits for indulging in ideological wars. The Jawaharlal Nehru University Student Union (JNUSU) elections will take place on Friday. Seven candidates in the fray for the post of the student’s union president, which is currently held by the AISA in alliance with the SFI.

Alam’s turn came around 11 pm after speeches by BAPSA’s (Birsa Ambedkar Phule Students’ Association) Shabana Ali, ABVP’s Nidhi Tripathi and NSUI’s Vrishnika Singh. Though he did not offer any solution to the issues being faced by the students, he hit out the outfits for “failing at various levels” and attacked the left groups for “ignoring the cause of the differently-abled”. “All their movements would start with a ‘Lal Saalam’, but ends with a selfie,” he said, leaving the crowd in fits of laughter.

“Left showed me a dream of aazadi, but later told I was wrong to dream about it. BAPSA played ‘Shakuni’ in JNUSU movements. The ABVP is known for its goon culture and imposition of nationalism,” Alam said.

The speech’s satirical approach, dotted with one-liners, witty remarks and frequent jibes at the parties, drew tremendous response from the crowd which gave him a standing ovation. The debate began at 9 pm on Wednesday and went on till 2 am at the Jhelum Lawn of the university. Geeta Kumari, the presidential candidate of AISA which has entered an alliance with the SFI and the DSF, promised to keep fighting for Najeeb, a student of the university who went missing from his hostel on October 16, 2016, and other student-related issues. BAPSA candidate Shabana Ali attacked the united left outfits of being “fake” and “casteist”.’

The ABVP was the point of attack for all the candidates for allegedly indulging in violence over the Najeeb issue. The candidates also hit out at the RSS, accusing it of indulging in violence across the country in the name of cow protection and nationalism. ABVP candidate Nidhi Tripati, however, spoke about the “ineffectiveness” of the placement cell of the university and assured to “bring it to life”. She also promised to get sanitary pad vending machines installed, ensure gynaecologist’s visit everyday and commencing of metro feeder bus services. Congress-affiliated NSUI candidate Vrishnika Singh promised to fight for unity and for setting up a hospital in the campus. CPI leader D Raja’s daughter Aparajitha, who is the AISF candidate for the student’s union president post, spoke about global and national issues including Tamil Nadu farmers protests in the capital and the killing of senior journalist Gauri Lankesh in Bengaluru. AISF is not a part of the left alliance.

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