Hungry for change, young India favours a strong government

  • Prasad Nichenametla, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
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  • Updated: May 26, 2013 23:34 IST

Young people say they want a BJP government and Modi as PM. (HT Photo)

The youth of the nation are bristling with impatience and hungry for change. The majority favour the BJP over the Congress, believing that the saffron party can better deal with national problems ranging from price rise and corruption to the fight against terror.

This drift rightward could be a hard blow for the Congress in 2014, as youth (18-30 years of age) make up about a third of the population. Many of them would be first time voters whose opposition to the status quo is revealed by the survey. 45% of the respondents voted for the BJP compared to 31 percent for the Congress.

However the youth are not necessarily rallying behind a more youthful figure. Asked about their choice of most capable politician for the PM post, 41 percent went for Gujarat CM Narendra Modi while a little more than half of that figure want Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi, who is younger by 20 years.

This is despite Rahul Gandhi's constant engagement in the universities and the vital role he played in the party's youth wing. Modi took to this constituency relatively late, addressing Sri Ram College of Commerce students in New Delhi recently.

The youth seem to have had enough of PM Manmohan Singh, aged 80 years, who completed nine years as the PM this week. Only 12 percent - least among all age groups - want Singh for a third term with 59 percent stating his image has deteriorated in the past few years.

Not surprisingly then, the survey shows that the five years of UPA-II rule featuring a slew of scams from 2G to rail-gate has upset many of those who voted for the coalition in 2009. The miffed are more among the women.

However, the primary reason antagonising them, male and female alike, is not the issue of corruption that made people rally behind Anna Hazare but the price rise - a problem that has affected the poor, middle class and even the well-off in the last few years.

"Congress shouldn't and won't come to power this time because of the high price. Their slogan 'garibi hatao' has been replaced with 'garibon ko hatao'. In a place like Delhi it has become impossible to have a single proper meal within hundred rupees," said Pooja, 28, Advisor, Max Life insurance.


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