The current Union minister of youth affairs and sports became the president of DUSU in 1977 as a candidate of ABVP.
New Delhi: Delhi campuses, which have been a hub of student politics for the past many years, have produced many prominent leaders who have played crucial roles in shaping political parties from the Congress and the BJP to the CPI(M). Leaders like Arun Jaitley, Sheila Dikshit, Madan Lal Khurana, Prakash Karat, and Naveen Patnaik, who passed out from some of the famous colleges under Delhi University (DU) and some from JNU, treated the time they spent in college as their first step towards a bigger political career. Mr Jaitley was an Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) student leader in the DU campus in the 70s and rose to be the president of the Delhi University Students’ Union (DUSU) in 1974. The current Union finance minister was a prominent leader of a movement against corruption launched in 1973 by Jayaprakash Narayan. In 1977, being the convener of the Loktantric Yuva Morcha at a time when Congress suffered defeat, Mr Jaitley was appointed the president of the Delhi ABVP and the All-India secretaryof the ABVP. He then went on to become the president of the youth wing of BJP and the secretary of its Delhi unit in 1980. Mr Jaitley has been a member of the national executive of BJP since 1991. A lawyer and a politician, Mr Jaitley is currently at the helm of shaping India’s economy in the Narendra Modi government.
Another BJP leader, Vijay Goel, has been an alumnus of DU. Mr Goel has an M.Com degree from SRCC and a LLB degree from DU. The current Union minister of youth affairs and sports became the president of DUSU in 1977 as a candidate of ABVP. He also exposed corruption concerning fake certificates that was then operating at the varsity. He has been a MP for three consecutive Lok Sabhas, representing the Sadar and Chandni Chowk constituencies of Delhi. He became the president of Delhi BJP in 2013 and was elected to Rajya Sabha next year.
At a time when DU was considered a bastion of ABVP, Ajay Maken won DUSU and became the president of the National Students Union of India (NSUI) in 1985. After this, his political career took off. It is said that his victory was largely due to the massive sympathy wave generated because of the assassination of his uncle Lalit Maken, an MP from South Delhi. He was killed after the anti-Sikh riots for allegedly being involved in them. Today, Mr Maken is the face of Congress in the capital. Three time Delhi CM Sheila Dikshit CM studied at the Convent of Jesus and Mary School in New Delhi and graduated with a MA degree in History from Miranda House under DU.
The two prominent faces of the country’s Left politics — Prakash Karat and Sitaram Yechury — joined JNU at around the same time in 1970s. Mr Karat founded the Student Federation of India (SFI), the Communist Party of India’s (Marxist) student wing.