Several youngsters, voting for the fist time, were excited to contribute to the world’s largest democracy, in the first phase of UP elections.
The first-time voters queued up outside polling booths in the early hours. “This is the first time I am voting and apart from the excitement, there is also a sense of duty that comes along with the right (to vote). I believe I have chosen the right candidate for my constituency,” Meenakshi Sharma, a voter at Janta Inter College in Jewar, said.
Similarly, young voters also flocked the polling booths in Rabupura. “I have voted for my country as these state polls will decide the fate of Uttar Pradesh, which is the most populated state. With UP, India will also develop,” Rakesh Singh Gujjar, of Rabupura, said.
Many voters were seen accompanying their parents to the booth stalls. “Though I have come with my mother and grandmother, I will vote independently,” said 18-year-old Saba Khatoon, at a Rabupura polling station.
In the various enrolment drives undertaken by the district administration since November, a total of 18,276 voters in the age group 18-19 was registered across the three constituencies.
“I woke up at 5.30am and could not sleep; such was the excitement to cast my vote. Today, I felt like I became a part of the system and have a greater responsibility now,” 22-year-old Shreya Kumar, a voter at sector 39 polling booth, said.
Young voters said that their parents always used to follow a trend to vote and didn’t listen to them. Now, they are empowered to make their decisions and be heard.
“When I was not a voter, I used to give my opinion to parents, but they used to say that I don’t know about the process. Now I have the power to choose a representative,” 24-year-old Mughda, a first-time voter, at Sector 39 polling booth, said.
Youngsters were of the opinion that development should be the priority of every political party. The young voters who were unfamiliar with the procedure were seen taking the assistance of the polling staff. Many were also taking photos showing their mark with indelible ink.