The final countdown for Rajasthan University Students’ Union (RUSU) elections has begun. The week-long campaign on the campus came to a grinding halt on Thursday evening.
Till now, the polls were dominated by NSUI or ABVP, but this year, the entry of National People Party Students’ Union (NPPSU), the student wing of Kirori Lal Meena’s party, in the fray has bring the spotlight on ‘caste equations’.
The NSUI has fielded former president of Maharani’s College Shefali Meena for the post of RUSU president, while ABVP is banking on Kanaram, a Jat candidate, to bag the top post. Apart from its traditional voters, the ABVP is trying to influence the Jat voters who have a ‘good presence’ in the varsity.
Now the changed caste equations have made the contest triangular. NPPSU’s presidential candidate Rajesh Mandia is also a Jat leader. Earlier, the ABVP was in a strong position but Mandia’s entry will divide the Jat votes between ABVP and NPPSU, due to which NSUI’s Shefali Meena may take the lead. Despite holding the president’s post in Maharani’s College, she is not focusing hard on the voters of her college.
Due to several controversies in the past, her grip is not strong on her college’s vote bank. Besides, the campaigning is also based on caste lines in this election.
Several supporters of Naresh Meena, a prominent student leader who is considered close to Kirori Lal Meena, are though pretending to be supporting Rajesh Mandia, they are sending messages to RU students to vote for Shefali Meena. Meena votes in this election are so far ‘undivided’.
Not only the student leaders, even the bigwigs of the community have come out in support of Shefali.
Besides, BJP leaders and former RUSU presidents who won on ABVP tickets are also leaving no stone unturned to taste the victory in this election.
Meanwhile, the number of voters too has decreased drastically due to various reasons this year. A total of 18,718 voters have been registered with the Rajasthan University.
Last year, the voters’ count was over 26,000 and around 55% voting was recorded. At Maharani’s College, the voting percentage was only 30.8%. Last year, the voting per cent remained low due to a series of holidays due to which many students had departed for their native places.