United by love, divided by choice! A large number of families, especially in urban areas, flocked together to their respective polling booths on Saturday but interestingly, members of several such families voted for different parties.
Terming it a new and positive trend, many of them did not forget to underline that there was also a time when family members would be pressured by head of the family to vote for the party that he liked without considering their preference.
Rakesh Sachdev, 59, a businessman who arrived with his six-member family, including his parents, laughingly said that although all his family members have come together in one car, but they have different takes on which party should win or lose.
“All of us have a different choice this time and being a head of the family, I put no pressure on anyone. Even my wife has a different choice and I don’t think it would have been a good idea to inspire her to change her choice for any other party. It all happened because of high awareness about voting right,” he added.
POLITICALLY AWARE YOUNGSTERS
His son Ketan Sachdev, 30, who was helping 79-year-old grandmother on a wheelchair, added, “To be honest, this time youngsters were also very particular about voting for their favourite party. That’s why if their parents or elders tried to influence their choice, they did not budge. For the same reason, in several families, everyone had a different favourite party choice.”
Narinder Aggarwal, 41, and Charu Aggarwal, 39, a couple who brought along their little daughter, candidly echoed, “Whenever we watched election news on TV or read newspaper reports, our views and opinions would never be the same. For the same reason, the voting buttons we pressed were also not the same. Gone are the days, when every family member would be counselled for voting for a specific choice but this time, this freedom on vote has been, no doubt, more palpable.”
Similarly, another couple Amrinder Bhardwaj, 38, and Jyotika Bhardwaj, 36, said they are elated that it is not only they who made different choices while pressing the voting button, but the same goes for other members in their family and other familes in the neighbourhood.
‘POWER OF EVERY SINGLE VOTE’
“Usually, it is the elderly in the family who get attached to a particular party and are always keen to influence other family members to vote for that party. Now, many have become aware about the power of every single vote and do not want to get influenced by anyone,” said Jyotika, a housewife.
Anil Kumar, 59-year-old businessman, and his son Aseem Verma, 26, who had come together to cast their vote, also voted for different parties.
“Neither had I told my dad to change his mind to vote for my favourite party, nor did he. I feel this could be the impact of voting campaigns where freedom of voting is always discussed. This was the trend in rural areas also where youngsters took the lead to change the mindset of their elders. I know this since I have many friends from villages,” Verma said. His father added, “Moreover, everyone has his or her own mindset, likes and dislikes and preferences that must be valued.”