Aligarh: Aligarh Muslim University Students Union on Thursday got brand new office bearers after a gap of four years as election results were announced amidst widespread celebration at the campus.
Undergraduate law student Abu Affan Farooqi was elected president of the students` body after obtaining 4,830 votes, defeating his nearest rival Syed Mohammad Waseem by a margin of 1,125 votes.
While undergraduate arts student Syed Umar Qadri was elected Vice-President, engineering student Amir Qutub, who had earlier launched a website for students` welfare, was elected as the Secretary.
Though for the first time in the history of the institution two women contested for posts of president and honorary secretary, neither managed to win.
The three winners of the top positions were closely associated with the Students Action Committee which led the three-month-long `landmark` agitation last year for restoration of the students union which was dissolved in 2007.
The student leaders had sought intervention of Congress leader Rahul Gandhi following which Union HRD Minister Kapil Sibal took up the issue with AMU Vice-Chancellor P K Abdul Aziz and University authorities finally consented to restore the students` union last month.
"This was the first time that elections for AMU students union were held under recommendations of the Lyngdoh Committee. This was also the first time that undergraduate girl students were given the right to vote," University spokesman Rahat Abrar said.
"Till now elections were held under AMU Students Union Regulation, 1953 and there were separate unions for boys and girls," he said.
Mustaq Ahmad, a student who spearheaded the agitation against the University authorities which finally restored the students union, said, "I am proud of the fact that all those elected to the top posts were associated with our movement for the restoration of students` democratic rights."
To a question on no girl candidate bagging a top post in the poll, he said, "Such changes do not take place overnight. This was the first time that undergraduate girls participated in the exercise and traditionally, they were unprepared to suddenly vote for girl candidates who they felt were still not prepared to face the challenge."