First-time voters in Himachal come out for better job, educational opportunities | assembly-elections$HP-2017 | Hindustan Times
Today in New Delhi, India
Nov 22, 2017-Wednesday
-°C
New Delhi
  • Humidity
    -
  • Wind
    -

First-time voters in Himachal come out for better job, educational opportunities

With almost 1.36 lakh first-time voters in the state, the election commission too had undertaken a number of drives to motivate them to exercise their franchise.

HimachalPradeshElection2017 Updated: Nov 10, 2017 13:15 IST
Saurabh Chauhan
Students of IGMC Nursing College after casting their vote in Sanjauli on Thursday.
Students of IGMC Nursing College after casting their vote in Sanjauli on Thursday. (Deepak Sansta/HT)

With better educational infrastructure and job opportunities on their mind, the youth, especially first-time voters turned up in huge numbers to cast their vote.

With almost 1.36 lakh first-time voters in the state, the election commission too had undertaken a number of drives to motivate them to exercise their franchise.

“Every political party talks about creating jobs but where are the opportunities. I am excited to cast the vote but not sure the government will keep its promise,” says Isha Thakur, 20, a first-time voter of Thanedhar in Theog assembly segment.

While for some the hope for a better future was what drew them to the polling booth, for others it was the excitement about the electronic voting machine and Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail which is being used in state for the first time.

“We are too little to think about the nation. We are curious about the VVPAT system. I voted for a candidate of my choice but I don’t have any demand from him,” said Anshul Mehta, a first-time voter from Mashobra.

Another first-time voter of the tribal Kinnaur district, Nisha Negi, said she voted with the hope of better educational and health facilities for her district. “I want doctors in hospitals and teachers in schools across Kinnaur district. The condition of health care and education is pathetic here,” she added.

Many young voters are also upset with the political parties for not giving adequate representation to youth voices. “You will find hardly a young MLA or any MLA who thinks for the youth of the state,” says Harshit Sharma, a young voter from Sanjauli, who cast his vote early in the morning. “We study in college; we do not have a platform to raise our issues. Since our (youth voters’) number are high, we figure in the speeches of all parties but there is nothing on ground,” he added.

Chief electoral officer (CEO) Pushpender Rajput said teams from district administration had interacted with youth in many educational institutions to sensitise them about voting. “Through face-to-face interaction and our social media interface we were able to reach out to the young voters,” he added.

Both main political parties—the Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) — have failed in providing adequate representation to women and youth in the Vidhan Sabha despite them have decisive numbers as electorates. This time, the BJP and the Congress have fielded only 10 candidates below the age of 40.