Watersports club, space for cricket on poll agenda | mumbai | Hindustan Times
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Watersports club, space for cricket on poll agenda

With just eight days to go before the October 13 election, candidates are offering everything from watersports clubs to acting classes and more open spaces for cricket, in an attempt to woo the young voter. Naresh Kamath reports. Special

mumbai Updated: Oct 06, 2009 02:00 IST
Naresh Kamath

It’s not just the faces that are getting younger, the manifestoes are too. With just eight days to go before the October 13 election, candidates are offering everything from watersports clubs to acting classes and more open spaces for cricket, in an attempt to woo the young voter.

This time around, nearly a fifth of the state’s 7.56 crore voters are under the age of 25.

The GenNext clauses, included in the manifestoes of all four major parties and several Independent candidates, are a far cry from the usual litany of infrastructure and rural development.

“The youth is now an important constituency and the parties recognise this,” said political analyst Venkatesh Kumar.
In Malabar Hill, MNS candidate Archit Jayakar (27) has promised to set up a 24x7 call centre exclusively for youngsters. “This will help them tackle the various problems they face growing up,” said Jayakar.

In Bandra West, BJP candidate Ashish Shelar (38) has promised a watersports club on the seafront. One of his opponents, Independent candiadte Raja Rahebar Khan (43), has a plan to match: He has vowed to sweep encroachments off plots reserved for playgrounds and gardens and open them up as cricket pitches.

The Shiv Sena’s young face, Aditya Thackeray (19), is focusing on educational reform. The college-going son of party executive president Uddhav Thackeray played an important role in drafting the manifesto and has said educational reform will be a key thrust area.