×
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT

Lok Sabha polls 2024: First time voters seek jobs, education, religious harmony in elections

The Lok Sabha elections which will be starting on April 19, are the world's largest electoral exercise with more than 18 million people voting for the first time.
Last Updated : 17 April 2024, 10:42 IST
Last Updated : 17 April 2024, 10:42 IST

Follow Us :

Comments

Kolkata/New Delhi: For 20-year-old Roushan Kumar, who sells flowers for a living in West Bengal, more jobs and better education are priorities. And the first-time voter wants to pick a government that will provide just that.

The Lok Sabha elections which will be starting on April 19, are the world's largest electoral exercise with more than 18 million people voting for the first time.

While polls project that Prime Minister Narendra Modi will win a third term, new voters like Kumar are determined to make their voices count.

"I will vote for a party that works for development in education. I will vote for a party that will provide employment – so that there are jobs," Kumar, a Modi supporter, told Reuters.

Kumar's priorities match many his age. Rising tensions between religious groups, inflation and lack of jobs were the top concerns emerging from PM Modi's decade-long rule, according to a survey of 1,290 first-time voters in New Delhi by pollsters CSDS-Lokniti.

Nearly two-thirds of those polled said that they would vote for PM Modi's BJP given the government's strong record of economic growth, amid a sense of pride over construction of the massive Hindu Ram temple.

Despite the world-beating growth, India's economy has scrambled to generate enough work for its people. Its youth make for most of the nation's unemployed workforce, according to a report by the International Labour Organisation and Institute for Human Development.

Akansha Majumdar, a 20-year-old engineering student in West Bengal said that the government needs to eradicate illiteracy and provide job security.

To tap into such disenchantment, the main Opposition Congress has promised paid apprenticeships. BJP's manifesto also focuses on creating jobs.

Beyond jobs and rising costs, communal harmony is another priority for many young voters.

A Delhi-based laptop repairer Mohammad Aijaz Ansari (19) said that fighting in the "name of religion" is everywhere and should not happen. He will vote for the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), or Common Person's Party, a Congress ally.

In reports released last year, the United States State Department raised concerns over the treatment of Muslims and other religious minorities in India. PM Modi had denied any discrimination against minorities.

ADVERTISEMENT
Published 17 April 2024, 10:42 IST

Follow us on :

Follow Us

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT