New Delhi: Youngsters' choice may turn out to be crucial for political parties in the upcoming Delhi assembly polls as the number of first time voters has more than doubled from 98,000 during the municipal election in 2012 to over 3.5 lakh this year. In other words, the percentage of youth voters has increased from 0.7 per cent to 3 per cent of the total voters in Delhi.
However, it is not going to be easy for the political parties to woo the youngsters who feel parties have not been sincere in keeping their promises and addressing key issues. Their issues are also not different from that of an average middle class person. Corruption, inflation, unemployment, social and financial security are some of the concerns which a number of students from leading universities say pervade their mind.
"Youths are quite politically aware and do not like to keep silent on issues which concern them. Everyone saw that during Anna Hazare's fast and protest after the December 16 gang rape," said Vismay Basu, a PhD student at Jawaharlal Nehru University. Basu's angst is not a lone voice but a reflection of the disappointment with politicians and the existing system felt by the youth.
For them inflation does not come only in the form of rising onion prices, but it is reflected in rising house rents, higher cost of education and rise in public transport fares. They say corruption affects them too in the form of being denied scholarship which is given to undeserving students or delayed. "Corruption and unemployment are indeed two big issues for youths. Students have been hit hard by rising course fee also. Education institutions have started charging user charges and often give the argument that to get quality education, you have to pay more," said Anubhuti Agnes Bara, Vice President of JNU Students Union.
Rising crime against women, overall law and order and growing insecurity in workplace are other issues of concern for the youths. "When we talk about safety, it refers to security in all fields -- social security, job security and financial security without which an impatient and ambitious young mind cannot fulfill his dreams.
"The corruption stories and lack of safety, especially for women, frustrates today's youth and this government may pay for the same in these elections," said Anupam Kanodia, literary secretary of AIIMS Students Union. Some students felt Narendra Modi's elevation as BJP Prime Ministerial candidate will impact the election outcome in Delhi while some others hailed Rahul Gandhi's stand on the ordinance on convicted lawmakers.
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Updated Date: Nov 12, 2013 11:45:34 IST