It’s ‘graduation’ time, say Bangalore’s first-time voters

April 23rd, 2009 - 1:26 pm ICT by IANS  

Bangalore, April 23 (IANS)Chandrasekhar P, an 18-year-old college student, is delighted as he ‘graduated’ Thursday to vote for the first time in the great Indian democratic process.
“Although I am yet to get my graduation degree, voting for the first time made me feel like a graduate. Now, I too am a part of the decision making process in the Indian democratic system,” Chandrasekhar told IANS after he voted in the Bangalore South constituency.

Bangalore South is among the 17 Karnataka constituencies which went to polls Thursday in the first of the two phase election for the 28 Lok Sabha seats from the state. In the second phase on April 30, voting will take place in 11 constituencies.

“It was a mixed feeling of nervousness and excitement before voting. But, after voting, I am feeling elated,” added Chandrasekhar, a student of Basaveshwara College of Arts, Science and Commerce.

The Indian constitution grants an individual the right to vote after he/she turns 18.

Echoing Chandrasekhar’s sentiments was Parvathi Reddy, 18, another college student.

“Oh! My God, I cannot believe this, I have voted for the first time. I feel empowered today. I am happy that I voted and voted for the right candidate,” smiled Reddy, flanked by her friends from Christ College, who also came to vote early morning.

The number of voters in Bangalore’s three Lok Sabha constituencies -Bangalore South, Bangalore Central and Bangalore North - stands at around 5.9 million, according to election authorities.

According to available data, around 50 percent of Bangalore’s voting population belongs to the age group of 18-39. Out of this age category, a sizeable number are first time voters.

An equally delighted Neil Sebastian, 18, a student at the College of Fine Arts, Karnataka Chitrakala Parishath, Bangalore, said after voting in Bangalore North constituency that he hoped his vote would help choose the best candidate.

“Since my school days, I wanted to vote, and I am delighted that I have cast my first vote today,” said Neil, clad in blue denim and a black t-shirt.

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