Youth Hold The Key To Elections In J&K

21 April 2014
The Tribune (Chandigarh)
Dinesh Manhotra

Jammu: Political parties in the state have reasons to depute their respective youth wings to woo voters because it is the youth who will decide the fate of candidates in the Lok Sabha elections. As per the latest electoral rolls, out of the total voters in the state, more than 55 per cent of the electorate is in the age group of 18-39 years. Therefore, all political parties are trying to impress the young voters. In the first phase of the elections in the state that was held on April 10, a large number of youth turned up to exercise their right to franchise. The Congress has already assigned this job to the Youth Congress and the BJYM, the youth wing of the BJP, has constituted committees to work among this huge chunk of voters, who hold the key in the Lok Sabha elections. The BJP is hopeful that due to 'Modi wave', the party would successfully attract the youth. Similarly, the Congress is projecting its leader Rahul Gandhi as the youth icon to woo young voters. Chief Minister Omar Abdullah is projecting Rahul Gandhi as a youth leader, who represents the aspirations and wishes of the modern India. The PDP is repeatedly raking up the issue of MBBS entrance examination scam and failure of the National Conference to fulfil its promise of recruiting Matric pass youth to woo the youth. The Youth Congress, the youth wing of the National Conference and the National Student Union of India (NSUI) had intensified their activities to target young voters. The Youth Congress has constituted teams to visit different institutions to mobilise the youth. During their campaign, Congress workers only mention the name of Rahul Gandhi to target the youth. The BJP on the other hand has given greater responsibility to its youth wing, the BJYM, to target young voters. The BJYM has set up teams at booth level so establish contact with the youth at the grass-roots level. The Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP), a student organisation having affiliation with the Sangh Parivar, has also intensified its activities to mobilise the youth. The BJP is hopeful that Narendra Modi's image will help the party in getting a maximum number of young voters. As far as the National Conference is concerned, the party is trying to project Chief Minister Omar Abdullah as the youth icon of the state. The party is hopeful that Omar's image would help the party in getting support of the maximum number of youth. However, instead of openly supporting any political parties, the youth are looking for good candidates in the Lok Sabha elections. As per the updated electoral rolls, out of the total 69,33,118 voters in Jammu and Kashmir, 56.01 per cent voters fall in the age group of 18-39 year, thus holding key position in the Lok Sabha elections.