We’re well informed, know what to do at polling booth: First-timers

Bengaluru: The share of young voters in the Karnataka state elections has doubled since 2013 and over 15.4 lakh voters in the age group 18-19 will be eligible to cast their franchise on May 12. Deccan Chronicle spoke to a few first-timers from the city. 

Vivek Babu (18), a B.Com student, claims that he has done enough research to exercise his franchise for the first time. "I have been gathering information on the candidates and their works over the years in my constituency (K.R. Puram) from different kinds of media and elders around me," he says. 

An aspiring politician, he believes that pursuing formal education before entering mainstream politics will add to a leader's capabilities. 

"Having knowledge in diverse fields and being updated across domains will be an added advantage. Knowing the people at the grassroots level is also essential," he says.

A teenager concerned about the environment, he says that the immediate attention of the next MLA should be the cleaning up of Agara and Rampura Lakes in his locality. 

Also, a good quality, state-of-the-art government school should be set up in the constituency to ensure better education for the poor, he says.

Renita Saikia, a B.Sc student, has decided to press the last button on the Electronic Voting Machine on Saturday. 

Asked why she is opting for none of the above (NOTA), she puts the blame equally on all parties contesting the elections.

"It is high time parties and representatives understood that basic development is necessary, and going behind ambitious targets is impractical. Fake promises are being made and people are being bribed for votes. All the parties are to blame for this," she says. 

The decisions taken at the top adversely affect the common people and, ironically, help the rich. "Demonetisation and GST are two big examples of this. Instead of travelling abroad multiple times a year, the PM should ideally care for his people back home," she says. 

An aspiring civil servant, Renita from Shantinagar says that at present, there are no issues with her constituency, but the broader picture needs to be set right. 

"Social media can be used not just for election campaigns, but also to reach out to more people, especially youngsters. A healthy dialogue between the government and citizens will set the right tone," she said.

Tanushree D., another first-timer who will vote from the Chickpet constituency, is undecided as to whom to vote for, though she has discussed it with her friends. 

"At the national level, I support Modi as they are trying to bring India on a par with developed nations. Digital India and Make in India are prime examples of this initiative. As a society we take time to accept change, but we should realise that all this will turn out good in future," she says. 

An aspiring finance manager, she says that the competition is tough at her constituency as all candidates are good. Social media campaigns have played a better role than others in her decision-making process, she reveals. 


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