New Delhi: The high-voltage Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) students' union election, punctuated by alleged violence, protest and police complaint, has finally come to a close with the United Left managing to hold its fort. All the four posts of president, vice-president, general secretary and joint secretary have gone to the left, with the ABVP finishing second in all the four.

Though, initially, the RSS's student wing Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) was leading in most of the panels, as the counting neared an end, the United Left overcame the saffron challenge.

After counting of all the 5,185 votes, N Sai Balaji has been elected as the new president of the JNU Students Union, defeating ABVP’s Lalit Pandey by 1,179 votes. Balaji, who will hold the same post that was once held by controversial student leader Kanhaiya Kumar, got 2,151 votes.

The vice-president's post has gone to Sarika Chaudhary, general secretary to Aejaz Ahmad Rather and joint secretary to Amutha Jayadeep, all from the united left.

Left's celebration at JNU

President's post

N Sai Balaji (Left Unity): 2,151

Lalit Pandey (ABVP) 9,72

Vice-president's post

Sarika (Left Unity) 2,592

Geeta Sri (ABVP) 1,013

General secretary's post

Aejaj (Left Unity) 2,426

Ganesh (ABVP) 1,235

Joint secretary's post

Amutha (Left Unity) 2,047

Venkat Chaubey (ABVP) 1,290

There was high drama on Saturday as counting was suspended for close to 14 hours after the ABVP alleged the counting had started without their polling agents present at the counting centre, which was a violation of the rule of JNUSU election. What followed was protests and counter-protests. The counting, which was suspended at 4 AM, could resume only at 6.30 PM after two teachers from the Grievance Redressal Cell were appointed as observers for the exercise. 

In between, visuals of animated protests by both the ABVP and United left found their way to social media, with both accusing the other side as the real reason for the scuffle. Meanwhile, a smaller player in JNU election, NSUI posted some videos suggesting both the ABVP and the Left were aggressive.

The voter turnout in the keenly contested JNUSU election on Friday was 67.8%, believed to be the highest in six years. Over 5,000 students cast their votes.

This year, communist unions All India Students' Association (AISA), Students' Federation of India (SFI), Democratic Students' Federation (DSF) and All India Students' Federation (AISF) came together to form the United Left alliance. The ABVP has dubbed it as a "survival mechanism" by the ABVP.

Saurabh Sharma, ABVP leader from JNU and former joint secretary of JNUSU told MyNation, "It's the ultimate survival strategy. With every passing year, they are adding more parties to their alliance as they know they can't fight ABVP alone in JNU." It's a statement strongly refuted by the left.

Besides the left bloc, there are candidates of the ABVP, the NSUI (National Students' Union of India) and BAPSA in the fray, but these are considered marginal players; they mostly work as spoilers.