The BJP’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi has directed that his party workers must go out to motivate all eligible voters in every Lok Sabha seat, particularly those who have recently turned 18 years of age, to get registered as voters so that they can exercise their franchise in 2014.
His assessment is that half of the 18 to 24 year-olds across the country are not registered or familiar with ways to enroll themselves even though the Election Commission has advertised the process.
An estimate done by his key aides show the number of such unregistered voters could be as high as 1.5 lakh in each Lok Sabha constituency. Even the older unregistered could be as high as 60,000 voters.
Modi has said this can be a major factor in ensuring a favourable outcome for BJP, party officials told HT.
An assessment by Modi's team has shown that the unregistered voters can make a huge difference once they become voters because the average winning margin in parliamentary elections in the 2009 polls was 70,000.
Modi is understood to have pointed out that the BJP lost as many as 100 seats by a margin of upto 1.5 lakhs, which could be rectified if more and more young people were to become voters.
Estimates say population of youths between 18-23 years, who will be first time voters in 2014, will be 149.36 million. The number is over 20 per cent of the 725 million voters who would be eligible to vote the next year.
”There are at least 100 new voters for each booth,” said a BJP official, adding that the party workers would have undertake the task of going door to door to check on those who are registered and make note of those not registered. They would be them told how to get registered.
Two days ago, Modi appealed through micro-blogging site Twitter, asking politicians, Bollywood celebrities, cricketers and social and spiritual leaders to work for registration of youths as voters.
The BJP is, of course, keen to tap this young population. On Sunday too, Modi urged all Indian passport holders abroad to register and vote to ensure a change of guard.