For first-time voters in the city, making their vote count topped the priority list. While their choices varied, the youth said they realised the importance of casting their votes.
“We have been having daily discussions in colleges and with teachers regarding the best candidates. The one thing that this did was to encourage us to vote. As for me, I think India needs a strong leader with proven credentials,” said Atulya Trivedi, a Delhi University student, who recently turned 18.
Of the 12.7 million voters in Delhi, 337,000 were registered as first-time voters.
The BJP’s prime ministerial candidate, Narendra Modi, was the top choice for a majority of these first time voters.
“This is my first Lok Sabha vote and I feel that Narendra Modi is the only thing going for the Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) but that doesn’t mean that the AAP is a viable alternative. Maybe they should think about national politics five years later,” said Shivangi Nathani, 21, a student who lives in Mayur Vihar.
Others who agreed were sure that BJP would get the numbers.
“It is not just the youngsters that are supporting BJP. Everyone is. Modi will become the prime minister. The younger generation needs a leader like him,” said Gaurav Lal, an engineering student who lives in Tughlakabad.
There were various others, however, who thought that the Aam Aadmi Party deserved to form the government at the centre.
“It is good that when I got a chance to vote there is a third option that we can take into consideration. For years, the voters either had to go for BJP or Congress, no matter how bad the candidates might be,” said Preeti,18, who goes by her first name, a student of Sarvodaya Kanya Vidyalaya, Sultanpuri.
Quoting reports that said corruption had gone down during Kejriwal’s stint as Delhi chief minister, many said that the narrative of the general elections needs to change.
“We have relied on two parties for a very long time and that has made both these parties complacent. The AAP showed that they had thought about things seriously in their election manifesto. We need to look beyond rhetoric and look at what each party actually promises. Is there a single other party whose candidate makes promises on a stamp paper. This shows the AAP candidates’ sincerity,” said Manisha Rawat, 19, a resident of Vasant Kunj.