A section of the city’s students and young professionals is vocal about the importance of development and youth leaders though they may have voted for different political parties.
They expressed their views on election related issues at the Hindustan Times office on Sunday after casting their vote.
Surabhi Sahai, managing director of the coaching centre CLAT Possible, said: “This UP assembly election will reflect the sentiment of the nation which I feel is confused at best and divided at worst.”
She also said, “This election will be won and lost on personality and profile yet again.”
Gaurav Prakash, chairperson of Young Business Leader Forum, PHD Chamber of commerce and industry, UP, said, “The state has the largest number of youth voters in the age group of 18-35 years. They constitute approximately 62% (of the population) and want only development. But the harsh reality is that caste politics is overruling the development agenda. We want to see a leader with a youthful impact.”
Right to Education (RTE) crusader Samina Bano, founder-chairperson at Bharat Abhyudaya Foundation, said though she believed the caste divide existed, there was a positive movement towards development-based voting patterns, especially among youth.
IIM-Lucknow graduating student Jay M Shah, who wants to be social entrepreneur, said, “The votes are going to be cast on ideological grounds. The urban voters are more interested in development. The villagers are looking for short-term gratification.”
His friend and fellow IIM-L student Paridhi Varma said the gap between the upper castes and lower castes was due to the unequal distribution of resources.
Mountaineer Toolika Rani said: “The healthy voter turnout in this election, especially of the first-time voters, is a good sign for democracy. There is also a perceptible shift from the caste-based rhetoric to development issues. The youth demands assurance and positive action by the government on their basic needs like education, health, employment, law and order. Above all, they want a decisive leadership with a vision. However, there is still scope to rise above short-term gains, appeasement and the caste divide and realise what is good for the nation as a whole.”
Gynaecologist Dr Jyotsna Mehta expressed concern about whether the next government will provide security to doctors.
Entrepreneur and activist Jyotsna Kaur Habibullah, entrepreneur and activist strongly felt all citizens should vote to uphold the country’s democracy.
“My family travelled back to Lucknow today from various parts of the country to ensure they voted. We hope for a leader who continues to take our state in the right direction and ensure jobs and basic rights to all,” she said.
Bobby Ramani, founder-director at I Support Foundation, said a number of key issues in this year’s election were directly related to the concerns of students and young professionals. It was essential for young people to learn about political issues, Ramani said.