Rajasthan has 16.5 lakh first-time voters

Rajasthan has 16.5 lakh first-time voters

Rajasthan would see a substantial increase in first time voters in the Assembly elections, who would greatly influence the voting pattern in the state as never before.

Nearly 16.51 lakh people will have the first taste of poll exercise in this elections,

which, according to state electoral officer Ashok Jain, is an increase of 9.8 lakh compared to the 2008 polls when 6.71 lakh first timers in the age group of 18-19 exercised their franchise.

Should young voters go ahead and cast their votes on election day, it will also represent an increase in voter percentage, tilting the axis of traditional voters substantially. State election commission has conducted awareness programmes to ensure the first timers perform their democratic duty.

Experts believe the increasing size of first time voters has also prompted political parties to change the style and issues of their campaigns, making them more youth-centric. This would explain the growing focus on online and social media campaign. In terms of issues, employment features prominently in the manifestos of both the Congress and the BJP, which have promised to explore new avenues for job creation with an eye on the young voters.

While traditional voters are swayed by party loyalties, youngsters caste their votes without any baggage and are taken in by issues like corruption and unemployment.
“I’ll definitely vote,” assures Anamika, a student of fashion designing in a prominent institute here. “The stakes are very high for the youth (in this elections). I’m worried about increasing corruption.”

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