They are young, highly qualified, motivated and represent the pulse of the 2014 Lok Sabha elections. Helping political parties with their election strategies, door-to-door campaigns and mobilising young voters, these engineers and MBAs, are working out innovative ways to handle the parliamentary polls.
IIM Bangalore alumnus and chemical engineer Partha Pratim Das, a student of public policy and management, had worked with two MLA candidates from the BJP and Congress in Karnataka last year. Both won with a good margin of votes.
“After that, I was involved in the Delhi Assembly election. I worked with four MLA candidates - one each from the BJP, Shiromani Akali Dal, Aam Aadmi Party, and the Congress. Two candidates won convincingly and one lost by a very close margin. In the Lok Sabha elections, I am working with a few candidates to plan the election campaign effectively and efficiently. It will help the candidates to know their organisation strength all across the constituency in a quantitative manner.”
Das aims to help the political leaders in creating a different election campaign. “We work on a detailed past booth-wise election analysis. After understanding the present scenario, we are helping them devise the strategy for the upcoming election at the micro level,” says Das, who started Chanakyya, a Bangalore-based political consultancy. He believes that a career in public policy is “challenging, exciting and multi-dimensional” because it gives a person an opportunity to work with political parties and helps in forming opinions about important policy decisions.
The consultancy aims to provide past data analysis – (from parliamentary to assembly to the booth level), and help in strategy formulation in campaigns for specific zones and constituencies. Help is also provided for the performance measurement system for party workers. They have also started managing social media/online presence of the candidates they work with.
Vishnuvardhini DL, an alumna of IIM Ahmedabad, wanted to be a change driver in politics and also develop a strong opinion on how a political leader should function in the present scenario.
“I did a project for my entrepreneurship course at IIMA with the same idea. I have worked on ground-level management and data analysis. I have been involved with voter research and strategy development segments, and have worked with the BJP, Congress and AAP. I worked with four candidates in the Delhi elections last year. Over the last few years, there has been an improvement in awareness levels among students about the government they want,” she says. A London School of Economics graduate, Ela Bodas works with a socio-political start-up launched by a few spirited youngsters in June last year. “Our work involves facilitating greater engagement between the citizens, the political and administrative establishment.” They are also involved with analytics, digital and social media research, and campaign management at the grassroots for the BJP.
India needs changemakers
With the Lok Sabha elections almost here, the young citizens of the country seem to be feeling frustrated with what they call government inaction. For them, what matters is not who gets elected, but about actions that are taken for the people and their growth
Shabeeh Rahat, Jamia Millia Islamia
Yes, I will vote but definitely not for Narendra Modi. My choice is strictly based on the ‘hope’ for a non-communal state. It is the well-being and peace that requires to be assured, the country cannot afford to have wars, riots, anymore. Development is only possible when the mind is calm to be propelled towards constructive front
Shaoni Mukherjee, Jawaharlal Nehru University
In today’s political scenario, I don’t really think anyone deserves to be the prime minister. Congress is stagnant and inconsistent; BJP is against all the minority groups — Muslims, homosexuals. And AAP is too immature considering Arvind Kejriwal’s resignation. The only hope is youth, they are the future
Nitish Negi, Delhi University
I will be voting for the upcoming elections. If the majority of young people come out and vote, the political parties will not ignore issues concerning them. Out of the three candidates, I think Narendra Modi is the most deserving candidate having proved his governance in Gujarat. Having said that, there are questions raised by Arvind Kejriwal regarding gas pricing, and Modi’s subsequent silence on the same has made me reconsider my decision. Today, the burning issue is fight against corruption and sustainable development. There is a need for administrative reforms, on the basis of which I will cast my vote
Shaina Khanna, Delhi University
I will vote for Arvind Kejriwal because he brought a change in national mood! Removing poverty and corruption at all levels is the need of the hour. And, I think Kejriwal has what it takes to bring in the much-needed change in the system. Also, I think there is a need to begin things from a point where there are no assumptions and space to take the public for granted