Millennials ignorant about candidates; have low confidence in electoral process

Millennials ignorant about candidates; have low confidence in electoral process

A large number of millennials who would be voting for the first time in the state elections on May 12 barely know the candidates in the fray.

They seem to rely on their parents’ choice or a candidate’s popularity in making a choice, while some of them are voting for a particular candidate since he or she is “not as bad as the others.”

All of the millennials are eager to see a change in the society, but they believe their candidate may not usher change. Arun Ashok (18) thinks candidates care only about themselves once they are voted to power.

“I don’t know the candidates in the fray in my constituency and I’m not planning to vote since it’s not going to make any difference,” Ashok said.

Ashok will be one of the 15.42 lakh first-timers among the 4.9 crore voters in the Assembly elections. Though that number is nearly doubled from the 7.18 lakh first-timers in 2013, a large number of millennials are believed to have stayed away from voter registration.

Gaana Reddy (19) objects to the greater priority given to elections over education. “Exams for colleges falling under Bangalore University are postponed due to elections. This’s distressing for the students,” she says.

Gaana said party activists fire away crackers and play high-decibel music in Mahadevapura constituency that causes chaos in the area. “Campaigners help enroll those who’ve recently moved into the city on condition that they vote for their party,” she says.

Jhanvi P, who resides in Yeshwantpur, feels almost all candidates count on a particular caste or religion as their vote bank. “No one cares about the middleclass. Candidates only target those below the poverty line for votes,” she feels.

Politicians promise the sky before the election but forget the voters after they win, gripes Amudhasurabhi A, a resident of BTM Layout. “I don’t feel safe in my locality after 7 pm since the streetlights don’t work,” she says.

Aditya Shetty (19), a voter from Bommanahalli constituency, lists out a series of issues affecting his area such as water scarcity, frequent power outage, caste-based favouritism in educational institutions, poor drainage system and stray dog menace. “Party leaders don’t address any of these issues,” he said.