Excited, informed, Bangalore’s youngsters all set to vote

April 22nd, 2009 - 10:15 am ICT by IANS  

Bharatiya Janata Party By Maitreyee Boruah
Bangalore, April 22 (IANS) College campuses across this city are abuzz with election talk, as young voters prepare to go to polling stations Thursday and elect their representatives to the Lok Sabha.

The upbeat mood in most educational institutions often extends to swanky coffee bars and theatre halls, the favourite hangouts of youngsters.

Right from going online to collect information about the candidates to discussing election issues with friends, youngsters have done their ‘homework’ well to choose the ‘best candidate’.

“The right to vote is an empowering feeling. But we should make good use of our voting rights by choosing the best candidate,” Andy Samuel, 18, a first-time voter and student of Mount Carmel College, Bangalore, told IANS.

“I have gone through the website of the Karnataka Election Commission to get detailed information about the candidates, their assets and criminal records if any. I have also discussed with my friends and seniors about the issues affecting Bangaloreans and what the candidates are going to do to help Bangalore grow, if voted to power,” Samuel added.

Along with popular awareness campaigns initiated by non-governmental groups which include ‘Jaago Re (Wake Up)! One Billion Votes’, ‘Smartvote.in’ and ‘Let’s Vote’, young voters themselves are making the best use of technology (Internet and SMS) to help them make an informed choice.

“It is pointless to just go and vote. We’ve to make informed choices. Earlier there was a dearth of information. Now, it is just a click away as the Internet is loaded with information about political parties, candidates and their manifestos. I have done a detailed study of the candidates and will vote for the candidate who has the vision to bring positive changes to the city,” said Pratik Rai, 22, a student at the Xavier Institute of Management and Entrepreneurship here.

“We’re educated and it is our duty to choose a clean and efficient leader to lead the city. Seeking prior information is the right way to choose the best candidate,” added Pratik’s friend Bobita V, 23, a BPO employee.

Bangalore South, Bangalore Central and Bangalore North constituencies are going to the polls on April 23.

The total number of voters in the three Lok Sabha constituencies stands at around 5.9 million, states the Karnataka Election Commission.

According to data available, around 50 percent of Bangalore’s voting population belongs to the age group of 18-39.

Looking at the potential of young voters to change the fortunes of candidates, all the political parties, including the Congress, the Bharatiya Janata Party and the Janata Dal-Secular have used the latest technologies, like the Internet, e-mails, video clippings and SMSes to woo voters.

“I have been getting SMS alerts and e-mails from all the major political parties. But I am going to vote only for the best candidate,” said Joseph Kuruvilla, a student of Mass Communication and Journalism at Bangalore University.

(Maitreyee Boruah can be contacted at m.boruah@ians.in)

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